Deferred Action for Minors

Deferred Action for Minors (DACA)

The White House announced on June 15, 2012, that it was granting “deferred action” to the following young people:

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and are now in the United States;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, three misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  5. Are not above the age of thirty, as of June 15, 2012

A person must comply with each of the above requirements with documentation in an application. The government will review each case.  “Deferred action” means the government will take no action to deport the person for two years, which may be renewed with another written application and supporting documents. The government will grant work authorization to those approved people.  “Deferred action” is not a pathway to citizenship, Special Immigrant Juvenile is a pathway to citizenship.


Comparison of Deferred Action and Special Immigrant Juvenile:

AGE 15-30. 0-21.  
AGE AT US ARRIVAL Less than 16 years. Under 21 years.  
APPEAL OF ADVERSE DECISION No. Yes from both Family Court and immigration.   
COLLEGE LOANS Yes. Depends on State Yes upon application to immigration.  
COST-APPLY $495 1. Family Court is free.
2.Immigration is $1225 but may seek fee waiver if earning less than $18,090/year.
CRIMES-1 FELONY May not apply. Depends which crime.  
CRIMES-1 MISDEAMEANOR May apply unless a significant misdemeanor. Depends which crime.  
CRIMES -2 MISDEAMENORS May apply unless a significant misdemeanor. Depends which crimes.  
CRIMES -3 MISDEAMENORS May not apply. Depends which crimes.  
DENIAL OF IMMIGRATION-REFERRED TO ICE FOR REMOVAL Usually does not happend. Usually does not happen.  
FALSE DOCUMENTS Probably need to apply for discretionary I-601 exemption. No problem. Specifically exempted from SIJ.  
ILLEGAL ENTRY IN US May apply. May apply.  
IN HIGH SCHOOL OR HS GRADUATE/GED Required to apply. Not required.  
IN US ON 6/15/2012 Required to apply. Not required.  
LENGTH OF TIME IMMIGRATION STATUS WILL LAST Two years, may be renewed; however may be terminated at agency’s discretion. Forever.  
MARRIED May apply. May not apply if presently married.  
MARRIAGE  LEGALIZE YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER No. Yes, especially when you are a citizen.  
MILITARY JOIN Generally not, however very limited exception. Yes, and if so, a citizen in 9 weeks, yes weeks.  
ORDER OF REMOVAL (DEPORTION) May apply. First need to open immigration court case and remove removal order. SIJ is a good reason to remove removal order and apply to be legalized. One benefit of DA over SIJ.
PROCESS Apply to Immigration. Seek guardianship in Family Court. Apply to immigration.  
PROCESS TIME About 4-6 months

Family Court: 3-6 months.
Immigration: About 6-12 months, unless from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvavor or Guatemala, about 2-3 years (estimate).
(Above times are if no pending case in Immigration Court).

REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS  PENDING  May apply. Most NY Immigration Court judges gladly terminate immigration cases for SIJ.  
TRAVEL OUTSIDE US No unless written application and receive “advance parole.” Yes.  
WORK AUTHORIZATION Yes. But must show economic necessity. Yes upon application to Immigration.  
©Copyright 2017 Merrill Clark, Esq.
30 Wall Street, 8th FL
NY, NY 10005

(646) 706-7031
Article by Mr. Clark on Deferred Action on “Immigration Daily”,0626-clark.shtm