The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the application process for the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will begin on February 18, 2015. This is the first of the programs announced in President Barack Obama’s November 20 administrative relief program to be rolled out. Forms are not yet available for the expanded DACA, but they will be published by February 18. Immigrants hoping to apply for the program should not use the older versions of the form.
The expansion of the program allows those undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16, who have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, and who have graduated from high school or who are enrolled in school or in many other educational programs to apply for a three-year work permit. There are other rules covering the program, so immigrants should seek advice from a lawyer or non-profit legal services organization before applying.
An estimated 2,000 immigrants on Long Island will become eligible for the new program when the application process begins next week. For more information, contact CARECEN at 516-489-8330 in Nassau or 631-273-8721 in Suffolk, or call Catholic Charities at 631-789-5210.