DACA: Why Eligible People Are Leaving Instead

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program within the immigration system that allows children of immigrants to stay in the United States under some circumstances. However, some children are leaving the country anyways despite their eligibility. Keep reading to learn more.


On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that those who entered the country as children and met other metrics would have deferred action and eligibility for work authorization. Essentially, instead of deportation, DACA candidates can request status.

Those who are eligible for DACA include:

  • Individuals who were 31 or younger on June 15, 2012
  • Those who entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday
  • Children who had no lawful status on or before June 15, 2012
  • Those currently in school and/or those who have obtained a general education development certificate

Individuals who have been deported already are not eligible. It’s also important to note that DACA eligibility may change if the person lives outside of the United States at some point. There is a continuous residency requirement.

Why Leave?

There has been a great deal of turmoil surrounding DACA in the past few years. Rules and regulations for applicants have been threatened or strengthened in a political tug of wary that makes applying for the status difficult.

Additionally, immigrants whose parents go through the painstaking process of applying for visas, lawful permanent residence, and even citizenship may lead to their child’s increased difficulty with DACA. Time is of the essence for DACA dreamers – the name given to those whom DACA applies.

Many dreamers are leaving instead of going through the process because they simply do not have enough time to wait it out. Because of this, “self-deportation” has been on the rise.

Immigration Help

If you are an immigrant and need legal counsel, contact Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. as soon as possible. Our compassionate attorneys can review your case and determine the most optimal strategy so you can chase your American Dream and protect what matters most.

Contact our firm today for more information.