Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

August 3, 2012


Guidance on Deferred Action Requests Provides Clarity for Those Seeking Relief

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced guidance to better inform American immigrant youth who could qualify for deferred action, a form of immigration relief that would allow these individuals to lawfully work in the country they call home. Below is a statement from Don Lyster, the National Immigration Law Center’s DC director:

“The Obama administration has provided much- needed additional information about the deferred action application process. It is evident that a lot of careful thought and consideration went into these guidelines, which should better inform those who plan to request deferred action on and after August 15.

“DREAMers, the primary group impacted by this policy change, should remember that although these guidelines provide clarity on the request process, the request process is still not open. Do NOT allow yourself to become a victim of notario fraud: no one can request deferred action until August 15. Any claims made otherwise are false.

“We look forward to continuing to work with DREAMers, attorneys, advocates, and the administration to ensure that this important policy is implemented fairly, vigorously and uniformly across the country.”

Some of the most valuable information found in the guidelines informs advocates and DREAMers about:

Fees. Those who request deferred action should expect to pay $465, which includes a $380 fee for the employment authorization application and an $85 fee for fingerprints. Fee waivers cannot be requested for the application for employment authorization and biometric collection. However, fee exemptions will be available in limited circumstances.

Confidentiality of personal information. USCIS has maintained that it will share information about applicants with immigration enforcement authorities only when issues of fraud, national security, or conviction are present. Otherwise, confidentiality of the requestor will be maintained.

Currently in school. To meet the “currently in school” criterion for deferred action, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit your request.

Clarification on Criminality. Those who have committed ‘status offenses,’ or been penalized for offenses that are tied to their immigration status (e.g., crimes created by anti-immigrant laws like SB 1070) will not be disqualified from deferred action.

Travel. If you travel outside of the United States after August 15, 2012, you aren’t eligible for consideration.  However, if USCIS approves your request for deferred action, you will be permitted to travel outside of the United States if you apply for and receive advance parole from USCIS.  Advance parole allows an individual to leave the United States for humanitarian, business, and education reasons.

The National Immigration Law Center will continually update its website with the latest information about deferred action. Please visit for the latest information about this policy.

The National Immigration Law Center has played a leading role in the DREAM movement since the first introduction of the DREAM Act in 2001. In 2008, NILC became the anchor organization for the United Dream Network, which is the largest immigrant youth–led organization working to obtain a path to citizenship and improve access to higher education for undocumented immigrant youth in the nation.

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