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Eligibility requirements for DACA renewal

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Blog, Immigration

There are more than 3.6 million undocumented immigrants in Mississippi and around the country who entered the United States as children and are commonly referred to as Dreamers. President Obama issued an executive order in 2012 to protect these immigrants after Congress failed to act, but his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been struck down by the courts. However, lawmakers are working on legislation that would provide protection for dreamers, and any law they pass is likely to be broadly similar to the DACA program.

DACA requirements

When the USCIS was accepting DACA applications, immigration officials verified that that the applicant met the program’s eligibility requirements. To qualify for deferred action, Dreamers had to:

  • Have entered the United States before they reached the age of 16 and be under the age of 31
  • Have resided in the United States for at least five years
  • Be enrolled in high school, have graduated from high school or earned a GED certificate or be honorable discharged from the U.S. military
  • Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors or a felony
  • Not pose a threat to the national security of the United States
  • Pass a background check

Renewing DACA

Immigrants who are currently protected by the DACA program should submit renewal applications every year to ensure that they remain enrolled. Before approving DACA renewals, U.S. immigration officials verify that the applicant:

  • Has not left the United States since submitting their last DACA request
  • Has not made any unauthorized trips outside the United States since August 2012
  • Has been convicted of a serious misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors or a felony
  • Does not pose a threat to the national security of the United States

Dreamers deserve help

Immigrants who entered the country as children and have lived in the United States for almost all of their lives deserve to be protected from deportation. Immigration has become one of the nation’s most divisive political issues, and Dreamers have paid the price.

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