Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was announced by President Obama in June 2012, allows immigrants who:
- were born on or after June 16, 1981,
- arrived to the United States before age 16 and
- have lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007
to be eligible for work authorization in the United States and it provides protection from deportation for two years. These individuals are generally called “Dreamers,” it was named so after the DREAM Act, a piece of legislation first introduced in Congress in 2001 that would afford these individuals permanent legal status.
DACA provides a pathway for children and young adults who came to the United States with their parents to obtain a Social Security Number, a driver’s license, and enroll in college and it allows them to work. While their parents may have come to the U.S. unlawfully or their parents overstayed their visas, these kids usually had no choice but to come with their parents, and this immigration policy helped provide opportunities for those youth who had already been in our country for years. DACA doesn’t offer a pathway towards permanent legal status or U.S. citizenship. It also doesn’t give individuals access to federal financial aid programs. It simply affords them the opportunity to further their own development, provide for themselves and their loved ones, and participate in their communities without fear of deportation.