Young immigrants across the country are rejoicing this week. These “Dreamers’” dreams are closer to coming true due to the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. This ruling has countered President Trump’s goal of ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for now.

The U.S. Supreme Court determined that the President’s measures in trying to end DACA were “arbitrary and capricious.” In short, this decision means that the young immigrants who are currently enrolled in DACA – nearly 650,000 people nationwide – will continue to enjoy the protections and privileges of this program. The decision also reinstates DACA for the new applicants for the time being. Those who are eligible should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

What are the benefits of DACA?

Those enrolled in DACA enjoy a couple of key benefits. One, they are protected from removal (deportation) for two years (renewable every two years). This provides relief from anxiety for many since they no longer have to worry about being shipped back across the border and separated from their loved ones in the U.S.

Two, DACA provides work authorization. This enables these undocumented immigrants to get jobs and earn a living legally. Since the current Supreme Court decision reinstated DACA programs, DACA recipients can also qualify to apply for Advance Parole, which can have significant benefits for many. Speak to an attorney if you are currently on DACA to explore the benefits of obtaining Advance Parole.

It’s important to note that enrolling in DACA does not grant anyone permanent residence status (i.e., a “green card”). Likewise, it does not make someone a U.S. citizen. However, the opportunities that it does provide are well worth it for countless people, and it can open the door to opportunities that could potentially lead to a permanent right to stay.

Who is eligible for DACA?

To be eligible, a person must:

  • Have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012, and physically present on that date
  • Have been brought to this country before turning 16
  • Have lived in the U.S. without a break since June 15, 2007, up to present time
  • Have had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Have a certain level of education (currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have obtained a general education development certificate) or be a U.S. military veteran
  • Have not been convicted of certain crimes
  • Not be considered a threat to the security and safety of the country

In addition, you must reapply every two years and pay a fee. Because navigating the requirements are complicated, it’s wise to seek professional help with the process. DACA continues thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision, but only until the Administration complies with the APA requirements or the President can outright repeal the Executive Order that birthed DACA. Therefore, it is crucial to act fast! Here at Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, we have helped many obtain and maintain DACA, and we will continue to fight for the “Dreamers.”