New Application Forms & Instructions for DACA Eligibility Released by DHS NILC Urges DACA Youth to Apply for Renewal As Soon As They’re Eligible
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released the revised form that must be completed by all those who wish to renew their protection from deportation and work authorization through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DACA was first implemented on August 15, 2012, and the first beneficiaries of this program are already eligible to apply to renew their documents.
The National Immigration Law Center (NILC), which has led efforts to provide all eligible youth and service providers with the tools and information to apply for DACA, urges those who have been granted DACA and those applying for the first time to carefully read and follow the guidelines laid out by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. More than 550,000 people have been approved for DACA.
“It has been almost two years since President Obama first announced the DACA program, which gives immigrant youth the opportunity to more fully contribute to their own communities. The economic, social, and education benefits of the program have been clearly demonstrated by the more than half million immigrants who have participated in it so far,” said Marielena Hincapié, NILC’s executive director.
“It is up to us -- the advocates and legal service providers, along with eligible youth and their parents -- to continue the success of this program by completing and submitting DACA renewal applications and instructing other eligible candidates about how to sign up for this important program,” Hincapié added.
“People who currently have DACA must adhere strictly to the renewal application guidelines to maintain their DACA standing and work authorization. For example, immigrants who currently have DACA should complete and submit their renewal application 120 to 150 days before their current DACA and employment authorization document (EAD) expire in order to ensure that they remain legally eligible to be employed. Renewing one’s DACA will ensure that the person with DACA is protected from deportation if he or she is picked up by immigration law enforcement authorities, such as in an immigration raid.
“Until Congress fixes the immigration system and creates a path to citizenship, President Obama’s DACA program is the only alternative available for young immigrants who qualify to remain in the U.S. and get work authorization,” Hincapié said. “That is why it is critically important for young people who currently have DACA to renew their authorization for another two years and for those who have not signed up to apply immediately.”
“In the meantime, NILC will continue to advocate for an immigration system that provides relief from deportation as well as work authorization to as many aspiring citizens, no matter their age, as possible,” Hincapié said.
NILC has conducted webinars and created materials to assist DACA applicants and legal service providers. Answers to frequently asked questions regarding renewal of DACA are available at www.nilc.org/dacarenewalprocess.html and will be updated and augmented in the coming days and weeks.
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