Have I Missed the DACA Deadline, or Can I Still Apply?

As of late 2017, only people who already hold DACA can apply for renewal; no new applications are being accepted, and the program is being phased out by the Trump Administration.

Question

I’m 17 years old and will be graduating from high school next spring. I always thought I was born in the U.S., but when I was starting to look into applying for college, my parents told me that I was actually born in Honduras, and have no legal status in the United States. I think I might be eligible for DACA, but is it too late to apply?

Answer

The Trump Administration began phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2017.

Unless Congress takes action, no new DACA applications will be accepted in the future, and only limited renewals will be allowed.

It should be noted that President Obama's original plan in creating the program, by means of an executive order, was that it serve as a stopgap until Congress took action to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including something similar to DACA known as the DREAM Act. Congress knows it needs to deal with this; it has just been ridiculously slow to do so.

Given the uncertainty around when and whether Congress will act, however, you might do better to look into whether you qualify for any more stable immigration relief, such as asylum.

If possible, have a talk with your parents about why they left Honduras, and set up a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney. Your school might also provide some immigration-related information and resources to students.

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