Frequently Asked Questions

Compiled by
Madison White

1. What is DACA?

a. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program established under the Obama administration that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, from deportation. DACA de-prioritizes these people from deportation, and allows them to apply for employment eligibility. DACA is for immigrants under the age of 31 (in 2012, when the program was established) who were brought to the United States before age 16. To be eligible for DACA,

  applicants must be in school, have completed high school or the equivalent GED, or have been honorably discharged from the United States Coast Guard. DACA 

applicants must not have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor, and must not pose a threat to national security.

2. Does DACA provide a path to citizenship?

  a. DACA doesn’t provide clear path to citizenship or lawful residency for DACA recipients, and according to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services, “Nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.” However, the two-year DACA terms do not add to previously mentioned periods of unlawful 

presence. 

3. Has DACA been overturned by the current administration?

  a. The Trump Administration’s executive orders on immigration explicitly exclude DACA recipients, leaving the program intact for now. However, DACA

de-prioritizes its recipients from deportation, and Trump’s administration’s first immigration executive order is dismantling the prioritization system to put all un- documented immigrants on a level playing field.

4. Is DACA still accepting applicants?

a. While the application is still in circulation, immigrants rights groups, including Immigration Equality and the National Immigration Law Center have advised 

prospective applicants to consult a lawyer before submitting any information to the government.

5. How do undocumented students go to elementary and primary schools?

  a. The United States Supreme Court ruled in Plyler vs. Doe (1982) that undocumented children and adolescents have a right and responsibility to obtain the same 

mandated education as American citizens. School districts may require proof of residency within the district, but not proof of citizenship. Individual states and 

districts may vary on what documents they accept to prove residency, but none can deny students that live within their jurisdiction.

6. How do undocumented students go to college?

  a. There is no federal or state policies mandating proof of citizenship to attend college. Individual colleges may have policies on citizenship. Undocumented students are not eligible for federally funded financial aid, and most states do not give state funding without proof of citizenship or legal residency. Some states do offer in- state tuition for undocumented students, but most do not.