Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson recently announced procedures for renewing enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Announced in June 2012 and launched in September 2012, the DACA program allows certain undocumented immigrants to apply for a two-year period of deferred enforcement and employment authorization. DACA is aimed at persons who came or were brought to the U.S. before their 16th. birthday, who have at least five years of continuous presence in the U.S., who have completed high school or high school equivalency and who have not been in trouble with the law.
Beginning in September 2014, approvals will start to go out for immigrants seeking to renew their participation in the DACA program. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urges people currently enrolled in DACA to re-enroll in the program 120 days prior to expiration. The DACA program is also continuing to accept requests from people who are enrolling for the first time.
As Secretary Johnson stated in a recent interview, “Almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers. By the renewal of DACA, we act in accord with our values and the code of this great Nation.”