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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security announced a discretionary mandate known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

At the time, DACA allowed undocumented individuals to gain temporary lawful presence in the United States if they met certain criteria. Undocumented individuals would be eligible to obtain a work permit and gain relief from deportation.

At SLCC, DACA recipients are eligible to:

  • Obtain part-time or full-time employment on campus.
  • Receive SLCC employee benefits (if the recipient is working full-time or if they have been employed at SLCC for a certain amount of time).
  • Apply for private scholarships offered by the institution (if they are eligible for SB 253).

Generally, undocumented students (with and without DACA) are not eligible for:

  • Federal Financial Aid via the FAFSA (student loans, grants, or work-study)

NOTE: SLCC students who have DACA will still have to complete an HB 144 affidavit in order to determine their eligibility for in-state tuition.

If you have questions about DACA, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for more information.

A Short Timeline of DACA

On September 5, 2017, DACA was rescinded by the Trump Administration on the basis that it was unconstitutional and has been contested in the courts for years. The program was fully restored in December 2020 until recently.

On July 16, 2021, Federal Judge Hanen ruled that DACA is unlawful, violating the Administrative Procedure Act. This means:

  • Current DACA recipients can continue to receive protection from deportation and a work permit.
  • Individuals who are applying for renewal can keep renewing until further notice.
  • Individuals who have been granted DACA as initial applicants are not affected by this ruling.
  • Individuals who have pending initial applications (anything short of being fully granted) face an indefinite freeze of their application.
  • Advanced parole applications are still being accepted for current DACA recipients.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments for the State of Texas v. the USA case on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. At this time, there is no certainty as to how the Fifth Circuit will rule. In its worst case scenario, the Fifth Circuit ruling could end the ability of current DACA recipients to renew their protections moving forward.
The DACA Final Rule took effect on October 31, 2022. The final rule generally codifies existing policies with limited changes to preserve and fortify DACA. While the new rule will apply to applications considered as of Oct. 31, currently valid grants of DACA, related employment authorization, and advance parole will continue to be recognized as valid under the final rule. If you have a pending renewal application, you do not need to reapply.

On May 17, 2023, Federal Judge Hanen will hear oral arguments regarding the legality the DACA Final Rule on June 1, 2023. A decision will be announced after this date.

On September 13, 2023, Judge Hanen declared that Biden’s version of DACA (fortified on October 31, 2022) is unlawful.

While first-time DACA applicants are still not being accepted, renewals and advanced parole remain open.

In the meantime, here is what you can do:

  • Review SLCC President Deneece Huftalin's statement on DACA.
  • Review 5 Things Dreamers and Educators Should Know About DACA.
  • To learn more about what resources are available in your area, visit
  • Research on how you can renew if you are a current DACA recipient.
  • Our Center for Health & Counseling is open to staff, faculty, and students who need support and are impacted by this court ruling.
  • If you have questions about your immigration case or to even determine if you can pursue a case with USCIS, visit one of our Immigration Help Sites @ the West Valley Center.

Upcoming dates are:

  • September 27
  • October 25
  • November 29

For more information, visit the S.J. Quinney School of Law Pro Bono Initiative calendar.