Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions

Andorra Bruno
Specialist in Immigration Policy
September 6, 2017

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, an Obama Administration initiative, was being rescinded. A
related memorandum released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that same day
rescinded the 2012 memorandum that established DACA and described how DHS would
“execute a wind-down of the program.” According to the September 2017 memorandum, DHS
will continue to adjudicate certain DACA requests and will not terminate previously issued grants
of deferred action or employment authorization “solely based on the directives in this

DACA was established in June 2012, when DHS announced that certain individuals without a
lawful immigration status who were brought to the United States as children and met other
criteria would be considered for temporary relief from removal. To request DACA (initial or
renewal), an individual has to file specified forms with DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) and pay associated fees. USCIS’s decision on an initial DACA request or a
renewal request is discretionary. DACA recipients are not granted a lawful immigration status and
are not put on a pathway to a lawful immigration status. They are, however, considered to be
lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferred action.

Cumulatively, through March 31, 2017, USCIS approved 787,580 initial DACA requests and
799,077 renewal requests. The overall approval rates for DACA requests accepted and decided by
March 31, 2017, were approximately 92% for initial requests and 99% for renewals.

To date, Congress has considered, but never enacted, legislation on the DACA initiative. Several
bills introduced in the 115th Congress would provide different forms of immigration protection to
unauthorized childhood arrivals who satisfy specified eligibility criteria. Some of these bills
would provide temporary protection from removal and employment authorization to eligible
individuals, while other measures would establish pathways for eligible individuals to become
U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the DACA initiative.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey Statement on DACA

A note from the desk of Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey Executive Director, Terrie Iacino:

As many of you already know the administration has rescinded the DACA program effective today. Many of our clients are fearful of the consequences. We understand that Congress has been given 6 months to come up with a legislative solution for this part of the immigration landscape.

In the meantime we cannot assist anyone to apply for a new DACA status – New DACA has closed.

All of those who are ready to file for their 2 year extension should connect with our immigration offices as it seems possible to file these extensions until October 16, 2017.

We will keep everyone informed as new developments emerge on this issue.

Our message is for our clients and their families is not to panic – there is time to sort everything out and we pray that Congress acts on a new solution for the 780,000 current DACA in our country.