People in Illinois who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but who were unable to apply before the Trump Administration stopped processing new applications in 2017 might now be able to do so. On July 17, a federal judge ruled that the program must be restored to its full existence prior to the Trump Administration’s efforts to phase it out.
How DACA works
People who are under a certain age and who came to the United States when they were minors before 2008 may be eligible for DACA. They should not have serious criminal convictions although certain offenses will not disqualify them. If they have not finished high school, they must be working on an equivalency degree. DACA allows these individuals to get work permits and stays deportation for two years. It also offers an indirect path to citizenship through what is called “advance parole.” With permission, they can leave the country and return to have their status as unauthorized immigrants removed. This can allow them to pursue a green card.
Support for “Dreamers”
Program participants, known as “Dreamers,” were able to remain in the program after the Trump Administration sought to phase it out, but no new applications were processed. In June, the Supreme Court upheld the amnesty on deportation, and with the new order, applications can be approved once again.
People who are concerned about their DACA status or who believe they are eligible for DACA may want to consult an attorney. The fast-changing nature of immigration law along with its complexity means that it may be helpful to have legal assistance in preparing an application and in eventually pursuing a green card. For people who came to the United States as children and remained undocumented, DACA may be an excellent opportunity to stay permanently and eventually pursue naturalization.