Top DACA Lawyers

The Ybarra Maldonado & Alagha Law Group has leading DACA lawyers in Phoenix, AZ with extensive knowledge of immigration law. Our lawyers have persistently fought for and supported the undocumented immigrants in our community. Not only can we help you with properly filling out a DACA application, an experienced immigration lawyer can also help you with all other immigration matters. For more information on how to potentially change your DACA status, call us today at 602-910-4040.

What is DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, is a policy that prevents the federal government from deporting people who came to the U.S. as children. President Barack Obama announced the policy on June 15, 2012. DACA allows some people to apply for deferred action for a period of two years. Deferred action means to delay deportation. If an immigrant is granted deferred action, then they can potentially receive an employment authorization document.

What is the Purpose of DACA?

DACA isn’t a path to permanent residency, a green card, or U.S. citizenship. Its main purpose is to delay deportation for young immigrants in the U.S. The deferred action is subject to renewal and may lead to a work permit. With a work permit, an immigrant can apply for a social security number and a state ID or driver’s license. Deferred action granted by DACA can be revoked at any time. Although DACA doesn’t allow you to travel abroad, it might make it easier for you to obtain travel documents. Be sure to check with USCIS for more extensive information.

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The purpose of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, was to remove ICE’s (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) attention away from “Dreamers.” The name “Dreamers” comes from the failed DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) that was originally considered by Congress in 2007. The goal of the failed bill was to provide a path to U.S. citizenship for young, illegal immigrants whose parents originally brought them into the country. In 2013, the DREAM Act still managed to reform the immigration system and allowed Dreamers to stay in the U.S. to attend school and work. Many believe the failed legislation motivated President Obama to sign DACA. 

Arizona's Response to DACA

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona became the first state governor to resist President Obama’s DACA policy, barring anyone with deferred status from accessing any state benefits. This sparked debate because it meant that eligible and authorized candidates couldn’t get a driver’s license. A federal district judge ruled in May 2013 that Brewer’s order was likely illegal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a preliminary injunction against Brewer’s ban in 2014. Later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in November 2014 that the ban was unconstitutional.

DACA Eligibility

You can request DACA if you meet the following requirements:

  • Must have been younger than age 31 on June 15, 2012
  • Arrived in the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday
  • Continuously lived in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to present time
  • Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of filing for a DACA request
  • Is currently in school, graduated from high school, or obtained a GED
  • Is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces
  • Hasn’t been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor offenses
  • Doesn’t pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • Must be at least 15 years old unless he or she is under threat of removal or has a final removal or voluntary departure order

Required Documents For DACA Applicants

If you meet the eligibility guidelines, DACA applicants will need the following documents: 

  • Proof of identity.
    • Passport 
    • School or military photo I.D.
    • Birth certificate with photo
    • Government issued immigration documents with your name and picture.
  • Proof you entered the U.S. before your 16th birthday.
    • Form I-94/I-95/I-94W or other immigration documents, a passport stamp, school, health, or tax records, or employment records and bank transaction receipts.
  • Proof of legal status. 
    • Form I-94/I-95/I-94W with an authorized stay expiration date
    • Order for removal proceedings 
    • Final order for exclusion or deportation
  • Proof you were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and proof that you have resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. 
    • Utility bills
    • Rent receipts
    • Military, school, and employment records 
    • Passport entries
    • Dated bank transactions.
  • Proof of student or military status.
    • School I.D. or transcripts
    • Proof of honorable discharge from the military

Sometimes USCIS will allow you to provide copies, but some people are required to submit originals. Knowing what to do and how to assemble these immigration documents seems like a daunting task. Trust the experienced Phoenix immigration attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado & Alagha Law Group to help you locate and identify the correct documents to ensure your DACA request is submitted correctly. 

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DACA Update - July 16, 2021

The latest DACA news happened on July 16, 2021 in Texas. Basically, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals memorandum as illegal. However, if you’re a current DACA recipient, you’re safe for now. Current DACA recipients can continue to request renewal from the USCIS, which is a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This court order officially prevents the USCIS from granting new DACA requests after July 16, 2021. In the meantime, the DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are attempting to appeal the U.S. District Court order out of Texas.

How Many Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Recipients are Living in the U.S.?

USCIS data from August 2018 estimates that there are 699,350 DACA recipients who are lawfully present in the United States. But the current number of recipients could be anywhere between 690,000 to 800,000.

Experienced DACA Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ

If you don’t know where to begin and fear that you might be filing your paperwork incorrectly, we recommend that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Additionally, we can help with immigration appeals whenever necessary.

Nobody is required to have legal representation to file for DACA status. But if you need assistance with your application, or you have a complicated case, our team of experienced immigration attorneys are here to help. If you have questions about the DACA program or about your specific DACA case, contact us today to find the information and support you need. Additionally, if you’re seeking any other immigration benefits, attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado & Alagha can help with that too. Call us today at 602-910-4040 to make your immigration goals come true.