Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: How To Apply


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which will allow qualifying undocumented youth to temporarily live and work in the US, officially begins today.

Over the last seven weeks, I’ve been telling you what you have to do to get ready for this program. Now you can begin to apply (find the application forms here).

Do not be deceived—this is a complicated process. If you are at all unsure of what you are doing, seek assistance from a lawyer or call CARECEN (516-489-8330) or Catholic Charities (631-789-5210). Do not under any circumstances use a so-called “notario” for assistance. If you do not meet the criteria put forth by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you may put yourself at risk for removal by applying, so you want to be certain that you qualify.

Each paragraph below has a link to a more in-depth article about deferred action.

The first thing you will need to apply is an identity document. The best one to have is a current passport. You may also use a birth certificate coupled with a government issued ID.

Next, you need to gather documentation that you are currently in school, have a GED, or have graduated from high school. Fortunately, we just found out that being enrolled in most GED courses will now count as being currently in school.

You also need to gather evidence to prove you entered the United States before you turned 16. This evidence could include a passport stamp showing when you arrived in the US, school records showing you in a US school before you were 16, medical records, etc.

In addition to this, you need proof that you have been here since June 15, 2007. These could include medical and financial records, school records, church records, and more.

If you have ever been arrested, you will need to get a certificate of disposition.

In what will be the hardest part for some applicants, you will need to pay a fee of $465.

CARECEN is offering free information sessions on the new program in Spanish and English. Our next workshops are:

—at our Hempstead office on Monday, August 20, at 5pm (91 N. Franklin Street, Suite 208, Hempstead, 516-489-8330).

—at our Brentwood office on Tuesday, August 21, at 5pm (2000 Brentwood Road, Brentwood, second floor, 631-273-8721)

—at our Brentwood office on Monday, August 27, at 5pm (2000 Brentwood Road, Brentwood, second floor, 631-273-8721)

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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