DREAM Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is legislation that has yet to be approved. Because the DREAM Act has failed to become law, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in June of 2012 that deferred action would be granted to a qualifying group of people who have yet to be approved by the government who met a specified list of criteria. An individual may qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) if he or she meets the criteria outlined by the USCIS, which includes:

  • Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Arrival into the United States prior to turning 16
  • Has resided in the US continuously since June 15, 2007 until the present time
  • Was physically in the US on June 15, 2012
  • Was physically present at the time of application to USCIS
  • Entered the US without approval before June 15, 2012; or had lawful immigration status that expired on or before June 15, 2012
  • Currently attends school, has graduated or received a GED from high school; or is an honorably discharged veteran of the US Armed Forces or the US Coast Guard
  • Has never been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, or does not pose a threat to national security or public safety

Even if one meets all of the criteria outlined above they may or may not receive deferred action due to the complexity of it. Deferred action means that an undocumented individual who may otherwise be subjected to deportation may receive a deferral of any actions to remove him or her. DACA does not necessarily provide a way to obtain a green card or citizenship; however, it does allow young people the ability to stay in the US and apply for a work authorization. A person who is given DACA has permission to live and work in the United States for two years. The work authorization is renewable. In addition, the DACA recipient can apply for a social security number and possibly a driver’s license.

Tulsa Immigration Assistance

All areas of immigration are complex and require a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to help guide you through the process. If you need to seek Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, contact Sobel and Erwin in Tulsa, Oklahoma to see how we can help. Our firm has an excellent reputation for helping immigrants in all legal areas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.