Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, President Obama created a new policy calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Applications under the program which is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) began on August 15, 2012.

Deferred action is a discretionary, limited immigration benefit by DHS. It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings. Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law. However, there is no direct path from deferred action to lawful permanent residence or to citizenship.  And, it can be revoked at any time.

Who is Eligible for DACA relief?

Individuals who meet the following criteria can apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals:

  • are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
  • came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
  • have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present. (For purposes of calculating this five year period, brief and innocent absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);
  • entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012;
  • were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
  • have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and
  • do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Applicants will have to provide documentary evidence of the above criteria. In addition, every applicant must complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check.

All applications for deferred action will be submitted directly to a USCIS lockbox on the DACA form. Even if an applicant is in removal proceedings or have been ordered removed, the application still goes to USCIS. If the applicant is detained, then they should alert their detention officer that they want to apply.

What forms will I need to submit?

Applicants must submit the following forms or their application will be returned to them:

Form I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;
Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Document;
Form I-765 WS –EAD economic need supplement form
Additionally applicants will need to submit documentary evidence that they meet all of the criteria to qualify for deferred action (age; entry date; continuous presence; educational or military documentation; etc.)

How much does it cost to seek DACA?

The total fees for the application (including an application for an Employment Authorization Document and background check) will be $465. In other words, the deferred application form itself is free but individuals must apply for and submit fees for the employment authorization document application and the biometrics fee.

How can I get more information?

As we learn more from USCIS we will post more information here. If you have specific questions about whether you qualify, please contact us at 714.385.1534. There is also useful information on the USCIS site.


What is Wage Theft?

Wage theft occurs when employers do not pay workers according to the law. Examples of wage theft include paying less than minimum wage, not paying workers overtime, not allowing workers to take meal and rest breaks, or taking workers’ tips.

What Can You Do?

Know your rights and exercise them. If you are experiencing a violation of any of the labor laws explained on this website, or you have observed wage theft and want to report it, there are a variety of ways you can take action.

In California, all workers are protected by labor laws. It does not matter where you were born or whether you have papers to work. The Labor Commissioner’s Office will not ask about your immigration status or report your immigration status to other government agencies. You do not need a social security number or photo identification to file a claim or report a violation.

Want More Information?

This website will show you the steps to take to protect yourself from wage theft and how to report a problem to the Labor Commissioner’s Office.

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