DACA Resource Center
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protects eligible undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children. DACA provides employment authorization (work permit) and protection from deportation for a renewable two-year period.
Although the Trump administration rescinded the DACA program in 2017, two court injunctions in early 2018 have forced USCIS to continue accepting DACA applications and granting deferred action to those still eligible. This opportunity may not last. A new court order could shut down the DACA program. For many it’s important to renew DACA while you still can.
paths to legal status
The uncertain future for DACA is forcing everyone to reconsider other possible paths to a legal status within the United States. In some cases, individuals have an available path to a green card and don’t even realize it.
Are you married to a U.S. citizen? Has any family relative ever filed an immigration petition on your behalf? Have you ever been a victim of a crime or domestic violence? All of these questions are very important because they may lay a foundation for immigration alternatives aside from DACA. Marriage, employment, asylum status and the U visa are just a few of the possibilities. It’s important that anyone with an undocumented status understands their options. Contact an immigration attorney or other legal service provider to analyze your situation.
A Future for Dreamers
Bipartisan Dreamer legislation was first introduced in 2001 but has struggled to get passage in Congress through its many iterations. The DREAM Act is a proposal for certain undocumented immigrants in the United States that would grant lawful permanent residence (green card).
Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are urging Congress to act quickly to pass a version of the DREAM Act. The most recent version of the DREAM Act, introduced in July, would offer lawful permanent residence — and eventually a pathway to U.S. citizenship — to young immigrants if they arrived in the U.S. as children, obtained a high school degree or GED, and are enrolled in higher education, employed, or serve in the military.
The DREAM Act would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually U.S. citizenship if they:
- Are longtime residents who came to the U.S. as children;
- Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;
- Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least three years, or serve in the military;
- Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;
- Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and
- Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.
You can urge passage of the Dream Act here.
Replace a DACA Card
Losing your work permit does not mean that you’ve lost your DACA status. Officially known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), your work permit is physical proof of your right to live and work in the United States.
If your work permit was lost or stolen, you’ll need to replace it as soon as possible. DACA status continues to be valid until it expires.
If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA renewal request.
However, If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal. That’s because renewal requests generally must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA. If this applies to you, you may be able to file a new DACA request with the assistance of an immigration lawyer.
If your employment authorization card was lost or stolen (and continues to be unexpired), you may file a request for a replacement card.
We also encourage you to seek the advice of an immigration attorney and can explain your options.