Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new plan to assist undocumented youth. It is not a new law, or even a regulation. It is not a long-term solution, nor does it grant a legal status. But, it is a very exciting step forward. This program, now called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a way for undocumented young people to ask the U.S. Immigration Service to let them stay for two years at a time. And DACA can also lead to a 2 year work card and a Social Security number.
Youth can apply to this program if they meet the following requirements:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the US before reaching your 16th birthday
- Have continuously resided in the US since June 15th 2007, up to the present time
- Were physically present in the US on June 15th 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Entered without inspection before June 15 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired as of 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 US; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
How to Apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Review guidelines
- Collect documents as evidence you meet the guidelines
- Complete USCIS Forms I-821D and I-765 at www.uscis.gov/I-821D (Please attend free community workshops for assistance with completing these forms. You may go to the counseling office for information on local events)
- Mail USCIS forms and fees (total $465)
- Visit your local USCIS Application Support Center for a scheduled biometrics services appointment
- Check the status of your request online
For the most current information please visit: www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals
AB540, is a California law passed in 2001. AB540 allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates if they meet all of the following requirements:
1) Attended a California high school for 3 or more years.
2) Graduated from a California high school with a high school diploma or attained the equivalent (GED).
3) After accepted to a California public university or college, if undocumented, the student mus file an affidavit with the intended college or university stating their eligibility under AB540 and intention of applying for a lawful immigration status as soon as they are eligible.
California Dream Act AB130 and AB131 passed and signed by California Jerry Brown in 2011
AB130 (Go into effect January 1st 2012)
In the past, California public colleges and universities were bound by the state to withhold financial assistance to their undocumented students. AB130 gives California public colleges and universities the opportunity to allow undocumented students to apply and compete for scholarships awards. These include scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions or individual departmental efforts. Students must visit a financial aid officer at their current college/university.
AB131 (Provisions of AB131 will go into affect January 1st 2013 for the Fall 2013)
In the past, the State of California did not administer a financial aid program that included undocumented students. This bill now allows undocumented students who qualify for AB540 to participate in state funded financial aid programs. AB 131 calls for California's community colleges to allow students to apply for the Board of Governor's Fee Waivers, which waive the educational fees of qualifying low-income students and qualify for Cal Grants.
California Dream Act Application
You can do it!!! Si Se Puede!!!
- You are not alone. Thousands of undocumented students have gone to college in the US and graduated. This won't be easy but you can do it.
- Get comfortable asking for help. Find people you can trust to help you navigate the college process.
- Practice telling "your story" as many private scholarships require a face-to-face interview.
- Even if you intend to go to UC, CSU, or private school, you should apply to your local community college as a backup plan.
- Once in college, join student support groups (AB540 student groups) to network and find out about other scholarship opportunities.
- Go back to your community and share your story with other younger students in your same situation.