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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About DACA

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/BELatina.

This year marks a decade since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program became official. On June 15, 2012, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano approved the law that allowed young people who came to the United States as children to be eligible to work legally in the country. 

However, DACA has faced multiple challenges that continue to be debated.

If you didn’t have to go through the process or don’t know anyone who has lived through the experience, you might still be unfamiliar with some aspects of the program.

For example, guidelines and documents are required to renew the process; some even have to do with age, schooling, and residency.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the DACA program.

DACA is not a one-time type of process 

The renewal process takes place every two years, and it takes 6-12 months to complete. While this is a win for many, the government is currently not allowing new immigrants to apply. However, for those previously granted DACA, a great step-by-step resource for renewal is Immigrant Help, a website that gives you detailed steps and answers your application concerns. 

The fee for this process is currently $495 

The charge includes “employment authorization and biometric services” that cannot be waived, according to the USCIS official government website. However, there are so many resources out there that can help with these fees. For example, our friends at Adelita’s Apparel have a DACA fund to help dreamers renew their applications.

A tedious process

If you haven’t dealt with the USCIS before, you probably don’t know how tedious and time-sensitive these types of procedures can be. For example, if you slightly make an error on a document, you will most likely have to resubmit everything. It’s no different with DACA applicants. According to Immigration Help, documents that dreamers have to submit include: a money order or Form G-1450, a cover letter, the Form G-1145 (if you choose to submit it), the Form I-821D, the Form I-765, passport photos, a copy of the front and back of their current employment authorization document(s), the Form I-765WS, and copies of any supporting documents for your case.

Age, Location & School Restrictions

Even if you were here as an immigrant youth, you may be unable to be eligible for the process for one reason or another.

For example, you had to be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. To prove this, you must have been here before your 16th birthday and have proof of continuous residence in the U.S. since. The guidelines state that the applicant should “have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time.” 

During this time, the applicant should also have been enrolled or received schooling and have proof of it.

Proof. Proof. Proof. Sound scary? Don’t worry. Here’s a resource that helps you keep accountability of documents that serve as evidence for this process.

Dreamers Are Resilient & We Can Help By Supporting Immigrant Reform

Y’all remember the immigrant reformation talk during the Biden election? The eight-year pathway to citizenship that was buzzed about is something that hasn’t been pursued yet. We hope that this will get brought up and that our current government keeps its word during the remainder of the Biden-Harris administration. Until then, we can support by voting for the right candidates to help our fight.

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