Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) is a program that was brought into effect under Barack Obama led government. It is an immigration policy that allows immigrants to stay in the US who were present in the country without legal citizenship status.
The program aims to help children and adults who have been in the US for quite some time now by saving them from being deported. For any citizen to apply for DACA status, it is mandatory that they don’t have any felonies in their records and they haven’t been booked for severe misdemeanours.
A person under DACA status is advised to renew their status every two years, and for that, a fee is charged.
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What are the Requirements to Apply for DACA Status?
It is not for everyone. There are specific requirements if a person wants to apply for DACA status. The requirements are as follows:
- The applicant should be under 31 years old on June 15, 2012
- The applicant has lived in the United States from June 15, 2007, and is still living in the country.
- The applicant first arrived in the country before their 16th birthday
- The applicant was present in the United States when they were applying and also on June 15, 2012
- The applicant’s status has been officially expired as a legal citizen before June 15, 2012, and they also entered the country without any legal papers.
- The applicant is either currently studying in an educational institution or has earned a certificate of education before for completion of their graduation or they have been honourably discharged from Military is mandatory.
- The applicant must have a clear record in terms of illegal activities. He/she should not be convicted of any significant felony, or they must not have a record for three or more misdemeanours.
If an applicant can meet all the terms mentioned above, then he/she can apply for DACA status.
What is Happening?
Recently, a surprising stat came up. According to the stats, around 172,000 people under the DACA status had dropped out of renewing their status under the program. There were a total of 825,000 people under the protection of the same program.
Now, only 653,000 people are left under the program since 21% of them are now out of the program. According to the current research, the rate of 3000 people dropping out every month from the program is likely to increase more in the future.
Why Are People Dropping Out of the Program?
The exciting part of understanding is why are people dropping out from a program that is designed to protect them. Nothing happens without any reason. The reason behind people dropping out of the DACA program is the Supreme Court of America.
Back in 2018, the Supreme Court put on hold the decision for abolishing the effects of the DACA program. The choice is yet to be revealed. According to some speculations, the decision is expected in a month. Keeping this in mind, the DACA people wondered why to pay for a program that may lose its existence in 2 months.
To add to this, the renewal charges are about to change from $495 to $765. People who have clean records and security of a permanent job in an MNC with a permanent driving license as well might consider not to renew their status as well.
Since the people under the program know that they can apply for a renewal of their status under a period of 12 months from the date of expiry, they will wait to see if the supreme court rules in their favour or not.
What Happens to the People Who Dropout?
The dropout category includes people of both types, who were very qualified for the program and people who were the least skilled and are now deported. How do you drop out of the program, though? There is a range of methods:
- When you marry a citizen of America, you are eligible to claim the green card status making you a legal presence in the United States
- When you adjust your status to some other legal situation such as opting for a foreign student program
- When you move legally back to your own country or some other nation
- Some people who are not alive anymore
- When you are deported for criminal activity
- When your status is changed back to illegal
Some people might still be in an ambiguous state since they might be eligible for renewing their status under a period of one year. Those people are not under the category of definite dropouts.
People Under the DACA Program
According to recent surveys, it is observed that the most significant percentage of people protected under this program are from Mexico being about 80% of the total people in the program. Rest of the people are from different nations. People under the program are 53% men and 47% women.
What Does Will Happen?
It is hard to say which end Supreme Court will favour. In case it supports for the side of the program, many people will be relieved and sign up for renewals. But if the decision goes against the plan, what will happen to all the people who are protected under it right now.
Where will the 653,000 people go? Many people are worried if the supreme court banishes the program, they would have to leave the United States along with all their friends and the career they have made.
Many people are regarding Trump’s decision as ‘destroying lives’. One of the stats shows that the people under this program paid around $3 Billion in Taxes last year. This would undoubtedly be a massive loss for the government as well. People under this program are also known as Dreamers.
A lot of dreamers and scared and angry about how they are treated in the United States by bringing upon them the confusion of deportation in their minds. Outside the court, many dreamers were founding shouting, ‘home is here’. It will be interesting to see, for how long!