What is DACA?

The Short Answer

DACA is an immigration policy that grants certain benefits to foreign nationals who were brought to the United States when they were children.


DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. President Barack Obama signed DACA into law on June 15, 2012 through executive order.

The program temporarily grants DACA recipients:

The program is subject to renewal every 2 years and does NOT provide a pathway to citizenship.

DACA qualifications can be found here under “guidelines”. As of now, no new applications are being reviewed.

Fun fact: As of 2024, DACA recipient ages range from 18-42.


The DACA program has a long and complicated history. Below are some important highlights.

September 5th, 2017 – President Donald Trump rescinds DACA. USCIS stops processing first time DACA applications and renewal requests.

January 9th, 2018 – San Francisco-based U.S. District Court judge William Alsup orders the Trump administration to resume accepting renewal applications for DACA but not for first time applicants.

June 18th, 2020 – Supreme Court rules 5-4 that the Trump administration’s termination of DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The Trump Administration could still rescind DACA if done properly.

December 4th, 2020 – USCIS begins accepting first-time DACA applicants.

July 16, 2021 – Texas-based U.S. District Court Judge Hanen ruled that DACA is unlawful and blocked DHS from approving any new, first-time DACA applications.


The Supreme Court will rule on DACA’s legality sometime this year or the next. If you have DACA, mentally prepare for it to be over.