Over half a million Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program recipients will have the opportunity to apply to renew their applications for Deferred Action. DACA was signed by President Obama on June 15, 2012 and became effective August 15, 2012 to defer removal action and give protection to undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have actively sought an education or served in the armed forces. The opportunity to apply for DACA renewal will be available late in late May as explained in the April 9, 2014 notice published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) – Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process.
DACA program recipients DO NOT receive automatic renewals.
The DACA renewal form will be available late May 2014. Part of the renewal process requires applicants to submit evidence regarding any criminal histories or proceedings as well as any removal proceedings in which the applicant may be involved. The processing time for DACA renewals should be 120 days according to USCIS. In its update, which is preliminary and subject to change, USCIS acknowledges that the number of applicants is significant and therefore it recommends DACA renewal applicants submit their applications between 120 and 150 days before their DACA expiration date.
The DACA program and policies are ripe for inclusion in comprehensive immigration reform. For example, the current policy does not include automatic renewal. It might be a good practice to allow conditional automatic renewals with a window of time for the applicant to submit their evidence of a lack of removal proceeding or criminal histories. As for now, there is no automatic renewal, which puts some DACA recipients at risk. It is possible the processing time exceeds expectation, some renewal applicants’ deferrals will expire, and those applicants will become unlawfully present which can lead to problems including loss of work authorizations.
Contact your immigration attorney and get moving quickly so you do not lose your deferred status.
Since there is a risk of losing deferred status, it is important that DACA renewal applicants act quickly to obtain all necessary information to help their attorney properly prepare and file the renewal form with required documentation. A lapse in legal status can cause significant problems for undocumented immigrants and it is strongly recommended that DACA renewal applicants seek advice and representation by an experienced licensed immigration attorney who has significant experience with complex immigration law and policy.
Chicago immigration attorney, KiKi M. Mosley closely follows updates in the DACA program and will share the final details regarding DACA renewals when the application is released by USCIS in late May. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including applications for temporary immigration relief and adjustments of immigration status. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.
 American Immigration Council, Immigration Impact: USCIS Releases Information About DACA Renewal Process. By Patrick Turel, Apr. 10, 2014.