Background on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)August 9, 2017
What is DACA and what is its current status?
DACA is a temporary program that allows certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before they were 16 years old and were 30 or younger as of June 2012 to apply for a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit which is renewable every two years. Almost 800,000 young people have received DACA. Several hundred thousand more people are eligible or will age into the program. This program was created by former President Obama – not Congress – which means that President Trump may attempt to end the program without Congressional action.
However, Congress could choose to take action to defend DACA recipients by:
- Urging President Trump to defend DACA, and
- Passing legislation that would place DACA-eligible people on a path to citizenship.
Revoking DACA would mean that DACA recipients would lose their work authorization, lose their jobs, and many would lose their driver’s licenses and be at risk of losing school funding, homes, and vehicles. They would also be subject to deportation. This is particularly concerning since these immigrants have affirmatively come forward to the government in good faith, admitted they are undocumented, and provided their addresses and contact information to the Federal government.
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