We have spoken about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) before. This program came into effect three years ago, and many people consider it to be a rousing success. It allows people who arrived in the United States before they reached the age of 16 to defer deportation and, more importantly, to get an education and work in the U.S.
To date, there are some amazing figures about the DACA program. More than 664,000 people have been accepted by DACA. Nearly 244,000 have renewed their DACA status. And the program has generated more than $422 million in fees. By many accounts, DACA has been a tremendous program that helps many people without harming the immigration system.
And yet, there are still plenty of detractors out there. Some argue that even though DACA has generated all that money, most of it just goes towards government salaries. And even without its critics, it’s not as if DACA status provides an impregnable shield around the individual who is granted it. There are still plenty of legal and personal hurdles that can force a DACA status holder to confront some difficult legal issues.
The point of saying all of this isn’t to slander the DACA program. Far from it, actually. Instead, we are merely pointing out that for all the good DACA does for people who are just trying to live and work in the U.S., it still operates under the immigration umbrella — and that’s a recipe for legal complications. Anyone trying to obtain DACA status, renew their status, or deal with a legal issue that overlaps with their DACA status needs to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
Source: Orange County Register, “Three years later, Deferred Action immigration program remains controversial,” Alejandra Molina and Roxana Kopetman, June 22, 2015