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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA is a special program announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012. It allows for some undocumented individuals, between the ages of 15 and 31 to apply for protection against deportation, and to work legally in the U.S. for a two year period.

Some people call DACA the Dream Act. The Dream Act is not a law, but only a proposed law. DACA is a program that started as an alternative to the Dream Act. DACA is not a green card or a visa, and it is not a path to citizenship. It only means that the government will not deport you for a period of two years, and will allow you to work for two years.

Produced by Children's Law Center of Massachusetts and Central West Justice Center
Created May 2016


President-Elect Trump becomes President of the United States January 20, 2017. During his campaign he talked about getting rid of DACA. Right now, it may not be the best time to apply for DACA for the first time, because when you apply USCIS will learn that you are in the country. Talk to an immigration specialist before you  apply.

If you are thinking about renewing your DACA status, it is less risky than apply for the first time. But you may lose your application fee if the government shuts down the DACA program.

Produced by Justice Center of SouthEast Massachusetts
Created December 2016