What is DACA?


What is DACA?


Established in 2012 as an executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a type of administrative relief from deportation for eligible undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. DACA essentially grants program recipients: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal.

Due to recent federal policy changes, the DACA program is not currently open to new applicants. Only current DACA recipients are eligible to renew their documentation.


Notable DACA updates

Since the Fall of 2017, DACA has been subject to various changes. As of January 2018, DACA has been partially restored. It should be noted that new applications are not being accepted. Although there are various state lawsuits seeking to terminate DACA, there are also federal rulings in place seeking to restore DACA completely and Congresspeople advocating for Dreamers.

  • September 5th, 2017: The Trump administration announced that it intended to rescind/ terminate DACA. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stops accepting new applications for the DACA program.

  • January 9th, 2018: A federal judge in California temporarily blocks the Trump administration efforts to end DACA. As a result of this federal ruling, DACA recipients can now apply to renew their DACA. Unfortunately, qualifying undocumented people cannot file a first-time application; they must have had previously or currently have DACA to be able to file.

  • April 24th, 2018: A District of Columbia federal judge issued a ruling ordering the Trump administration to fully restore the DACA program. If the order goes through, it would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue to accept and process both new and renewal DACA applications. Please note that at the moment, you still cannot file an initial application. In its ruling, the federal judge found fault with DHS’s offered justification for rescinding DACA – that the program was unlawful – without further explaining a legal basis for the agency’s conclusion. The Court stayed its order for 90 days, giving DHS an opportunity to better explain its rescission decision by July 23rd, 2018. If DHS does not give a valid reason for rescinding DACA within 90 days, the DACA program could possibly be restored in its entirety. However, the fate of the program may continue to be up in the air even after July 23rd because of various state lawsuits seeking to terminate DACA.

  • July 23rd, 2018: The District of Columbia federal court that set a 90-day deadline for the government to respond in the DACA casa, has extended that deadline indefinitely. This does not change much. As of July 23rd, 2018: 
    • People who once had DACA are still eligible to renew.
    • People who never had DACA are currently NOT eligible to apply for DACA.
    • Advance Parole is NOT available for anybody who has DACA. Currently you cannot travel outside the country under this program.
    • If your DACA is expired you can still renew.


Renewing your DACA

If you are wondering whether you should renew your DACA and/or how to go about it, click here.


For More Information

For more information about the status of DACA, you can contact us or visit the following organizations:

Extensive research from credible organizations like the National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream was conducted to provide the information on this page, but the information above is not intended as legal advice. 



This web page was last updated on 07/25/2018 by the MOSAIC Student Advocacy and Support Student Assistant.