dacaOn June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Under a directive from the DHS secretary, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This page provides guidance on how to apply for DACA, renew DACA, and other important information on DACA.


July 20, 2021 — On July 16, 2021, a U.S. district court in Texas issued a decision and injunction in Texas v. United States, holding that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is unlawful but allowing DACA to continue for current recipients and allowing, for now, for continued renewals.

The court:

  • held that the DACA program is unlawful,
  • set aside the DACA program and the 2012 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memorandum that originally established DACA, and
  • remanded DACA back to DHS to take steps to comply with the court’s order.

The court “stayed” its order with regard to people who already have DACA. This means that they may apply to renew their DACA and that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may continue processing DACA renewal requests. The court also emphasized that its decision should not be interpreted as terminating any existing grants of DACA. People who have DACA will not lose it as a result of the court’s order.

With respect to people who are eligible for DACA but have not been granted it, the court’s order:

  • allows USCIS to continue to accept first-time DACA requests, but
  • prohibits the federal government from approving any first-time DACA requests after July 16, 2021 (the date of the court’s decision).

The federal government has announced that it will appeal this decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. NILC is continuing to assess the decision and to plan for next steps in our continuing fight to protect DACA. Please check this webpage for updated information.

If you are eligible for DACA, whether or not you already have DACA, more information that is relevant to you is available at dacaclassaction.org.

DACA InformationLitigation

Latest DACA Developments

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Proposed Rule Factsheet (NILC & ILRC)
DACA Supreme Court Case Summary & Practice Update (NILC & ILRC, updated 12/22/20)
DACA: Frequently Asked Questions (NILC & ILRC, updated 12/22/20)
ALERT: Trump Administration Scales Back Availability of DACA While Deciding Whether to End It
ALERT: Supreme Court Overturns Trump Administration’s Termination of DACA
ALERT: U.S. District Court in Texas Denies Texas Request to Stop DACA Renewals
What States Can Do to Mitigate the Harm If DACA, TPS, and Other Forms of Immigration Relief End
About DACA and Employment (answers to frequently asked questions — English, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
#DefendDACA: Stories in Defense of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Getting and Renewing DACA
Guidance for Practitioners Helping Clients with DACA Cases Electronically (UWD, NILC, and AALDEF)
Steps to Take if Your DACA Renewal Is Delayed
DACA Renewal Calculator: Calculate When Would Be the Best Time to Submit Your DACA Renewal Application to USCIS

DACA & Obamacare (ACA) & Taxes
FAQ: Exclusion of Youth Granted “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” from Affordable Health Care
FAQ: DACAmented and Undocumented Immigrants and the Obamacare Tax Penalty
Taxes and DACA: What Do I Need to Know? (webinar)
Post–Supreme Court Decision DACA Guidance (by the Home Is Here coalition; link goes to United We Dream website)

Memo from DHS secretary — Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children (June 15, 2012, PDF)
DHS press release announcing a deferred action process for undocumented youth (June 15, 2012, PDF)
Questions and answers about the administration’s announcement regarding relief for individuals who came to the United States as children (June 15, 2012, PDF)
Memo from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement director John Morton (June 15, 2012, PDF)

DACA and Driver’s Licenses/REAL ID
REAL ID and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Access to Driver’s Licenses for Immigrant Youth Granted DACA

DACA & Education Post–U.S. Supreme Court Decision
#HomeIsHere Toolkit for PreK-12 Educators, Leaders, and Policymakers

COVID-19 Resources
Resources | COVID-19 Crisis and Consequences

Status Reports
New DHS Policy Threatens to Undo Gains Made by DACA Recipients (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 10/5/20)
Amid Changes to the DACA Program and COVID-19, DACA Recipients Are Fired Up and Civically Engaged (NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 10/2/20)
What We Know About DACA Renewals (Center for American Progress, 10/15/19)
DACA Recipients’ Livelihoods, Families, and Sense of Security Are at Stake This November (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 9/19/19)
Amid Legal and Political Uncertainty, DACA Remains More Important Than Ever (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 8/15/18)
Ending DACA Would Have Wide-Ranging Effects, but Immigrant Youth Are Fired Up and Politically Engaged (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 8/23/18)
DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 8/28/17)
New Study of DACA Beneficiaries Shows Positive Economic and Educational Outcomes (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 10/18/16)
Results from a Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Illustrate the Program’s Impact (report by NILC, CAP, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 7/9/15)
DACA at the Two-Year Mark: A National and State Profile of Youth Eligible and Applying for Deferred Action (Migration Policy Institute, 8/14)

Information & Resources from Partner Organizations
Home Is Here
Informed Immigrant
Center for American Progress
Immigrant Legal Resource Center

DACA and Dream–related Legislation
See Dream Act, Dreamers, and Related Legislation, under “Immigration Reform”