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QWhat is the DREAM Act?

A: The DREAM Act stands for the Development, Relief, and Education for Minors Act. The goal of the act was to provide a way for undocumented children immigrants to gain permanent status. While the first version of the Act was introduced in 2001 and several versions have followed, the DREAM Act has never been passed by the U.S. Congress.

 

Q: Who are the Dreamers?

A: "DREAMers" is used to describe the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and lived, went to school, and grew up in America. They also identify themselves as Americans who want to achieve the "American Dream."

 

Q: What does the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 do?

A: If passed by Congress, it would provide current, former, and future undocumented high-school graduates and GED recipients a three-step pathway to U.S. citizenship through college, work, or the armed services.

 

Q: What is DACA?

A: DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is the legislation that evolved from the DREAM Act. On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization," (uscis.gov). However, this does not provide lawful status as a U.S. Citizen in this country.

 

Q: What are the guidelines to be considered for DACA?

A: You may request DACA if you:

  • were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety," (uscis.gov).

 

Q: Is DACA currently accepting new applications?

A: Currently, "USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA," (uscis.gov).

 

Q: Is DACA currently accepting renewal applications?

A: USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA." (uscis.gov). However, please visit uscis.gov/i-821d for additional information to determine who qualifies for DACA and whether filing requirements have changed as well as deadlines.

 

Q: What forms must be filed for people eligible for DACA?

AYou must file the following forms:

  • Form I-821D
  • Form I-765
  • Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-765WS

Forms are located at uscis.gov/i-821d.

 

Q: What does USCIS stand for?

A: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.