Late on the evening of Thursday, June 15, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced what appeared to be an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Reacting to some news reports, the Administration later said they had not made a final decision on DACA but wanted to clarify their policy in another immigration area.
DACA allows an undocumented young person brought into the country at a young age to stay here if certain conditions are met. The original DACA order was issued by President Barack Obama in 2012. More than 780,000 young people have applied for and are covered under the DACA rules. This issue has been uncertain over the past year as candidate Trump had taken a position against continuation but the President has sounded a more sympathetic tone since January.
In November 2014, President Barack Obama expanded DACA to parents of citizen children (DAPA) but that action was blocked by the state of Texas and several other states when their legal challenge was upheld in a lower court.Â The Supreme Court deadlocked on the issue. The Thursday change made clear that DAPA was not extended and in doing so indicated that DACA was still in effect.
To qualify a young person must meet the following conditions:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.