DACA Definition

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is an American Immigration policy launched in 2012 by the Obama administration calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. DACA allows young people who were brought illegally to the United States as children, and who meet several key criteria to be considered for temporary relief from deportation or from being placed in removal proceedings. However, DACA does not provide lawful status. Once granted, DACA is valid for two (2) years and may be renewed. Individuals granted deferred action will also be eligible to request employment authorization (EAD). DACA applicants go through extensive background checks, and it is granted on a case-by-case basis. USCIS began accepting applications for the program on 15 August 2012.

To be eligible for DACA, applicants must meet several eligibility requirements such as: have entered the United States before their 16th birthday, be currently in school, a high school graduate or be honorably discharged from the military, be under 31 years of age, and not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or otherwise pose a threat to national security.

President Barack Obama announced the policy in a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House on 15 June 2012. He said that his administration would stop deporting young undocumented individuals who met certain requirements previously proposed under the DREAM ACT. The policy was created after acknowledgment that these immigrants had been largely raised in the United States, and that they are Americans in every single way - except on paper. DACA is also seen as a way to remove immigration resources and enforcement attention from "low priority" individuals who act as good citizens.

DACA was created through executive power, and it was one of Obama's most controversial policies, and quickly declared as anti-constitutional by the Republican party.

As of June 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received 844,931 - out of 1.7 million estimated eligible candidates - initial applications for DACA, of which 741,546 (88%) were approved, 60,269 (7%) were denied, and 43,121 (5%) were pending. Over half of those accepted reside in California and Texas

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