What is DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals? On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that the U.S. government would not deport certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children. Eligible individuals were able to apply for and given a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called "deferred action." Deportation action was deferred for two years, subject to renewal for an additional two years. Students under DACA are considered by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to be lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferred action.
- Under age 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Entered U.S. prior to age 16
- At least 15 years old at time of request
- Resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007
- Have not committed a felony or significant misdemeanor
- Currently enrolled in high school, have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
What DACA Does:
- Protection from deportation for 2 years at a time (renewal cost is $495)
- Social Security Number
- Work authorization
What DACA Does NOT Do:
- Does not put someone on the path to permanent legal immigration or U.S. citizenship
- DACA recipients cannot vote
- DACA recipients cannot receive any federal benefits, like Social Security, federal financial aid, or food stamps
Apply or Renew Your DACA:
Due to federal court orders, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided by USCIS, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on September 5, 2017. For more information visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The current DACA renewal fee is $495.
DACA Application & Renewal Assistance
Higher Education Legal Services (HELS) of Jewish Family Services San Diego has partnered with San Diego Miramar College to offer FREE DACA application and renewal assistance.
Higher Education Legal Services
Higher Education Legal Services (HELS) provides FREE immigration legal services to students, staff, and faculty at community and state colleges in San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties.
For more information about the HELS program, call (858) 637-3345 or email email@example.com and follow on Instagram @hels_sd.
Paying for DACA
How to Fund DACA Renewals; Paying the $495 Fee
Saving $495 can really be a challenge. Here are a few resources and suggests for students who need support paying the application fees. NOTE: San Diego Miramar College has partnered with the Higher Education Legal Services to provide FREE DACA application and renewals while funding lasts. If you are in need of financial assistance to cover your initial DACA application or renewal fees contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding Other Help:
- Use the Informed Immigrant DACA clinic map to search for DACA renewal clinics in your area.
- Use the Informed Immigrant Legal Service Directory to find a pro bono legal service organization near you.
- If you are a DACA beneficiary of Mexican origin, approach your consulate for an immigration screening and individualized legal assistance. Call 855-463-6395 or find a list of local Mexican Consulates.
- Start a personal fundraising page on GoFundMe, which launched an effort to help DACA recipients crowd fund for renewal fees.
- Send letters and emails to select friends or family members. Template here.
- Instead of gifts for your birthday, ask for money to help you pay for the renewal request.
- Talk to your employer and ask if they can cover the cost of your renewal fee to minimize the risk that your employment would be disrupted while awaiting a decision on your DACA and work permit renewal.
- If you are a member of a faith group, reach out to your house of worship; they may be willing to help.
- Apply to the Voto Latino pro bono project with King & Spalding LLP UndocuNeighbor initiative.
- Apply to the United We Dream DACA renewal fund. For more information visit Informed Immigrant's DACA renewal guide.