Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, President Obama stated that his administration would no longer deport young unauthorized immigrants who are eligible for relief under the DREAM Act, a bipartisan measure that had been repeatedly blocked in Congress. The DREAM Act, first introduced in 2001, would provide legal status to unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States as children if they pursue higher education or military service.
Under the new policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are considered in the U.S. under color of law. The policy does not grant legal status - only Congress can do that - but it relies on the long-established notion that administrations can decide not to pursue certain deportation cases where there are humanitarian reasons or other compelling factors.
On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced an expansion of DACA, along with a similar new policy for certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and parents of lawful permanent residents. However, the DAPA and the expanded DACA policies are currently blocked from going into effect by a February 2015 ruling of a Texas federal court.
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: The Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - National Immigration Law Center
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: The Obama Administration's DAPA and Expanded DACA Programs - National Immigration Law Center
- Results from a Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Illustrate the Program's Impact – Center for American Progress
- Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA - Immigration Policy Center