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Resources on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Demonstrators, many of them recent immigrants to America, protest the government shutdown and the lack of a deal on DACA, January 2018, in New York City.

This page was last updated on October 5, 2020.

825,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has served as a critical relief from deportation and work authorization since 2012. Beyond that, DACA created new avenues of opportunity for these young immigrants to access their American dream. DACA recipients have been able to pursue driver’s licenses and new educational opportunities; access health care; and move into better-aligned, more secure jobs, ultimately deepening their connections and expanding their contributions to the United States.

Although the Trump administration announced the rescission of DACA in September 2017, individuals who had—or who once had—DACA remained eligible to renew their protections as a result of multiple preliminary injunctions issued by federal courts hearing legal challenges to the termination of the initiative.

In November 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the Trump administration’s appeal in three of these cases, and in June 2020, it announced that the administration’s termination of DACA was unlawful. Rather than complying with the court’s decision by continuing to adjudicate DACA renewals as well as reopen the application process to those eligible but not yet protected under DACA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new memo on July 28 making significant changes to DACA while the department conducted the full review required by the Supreme Court ruling. Under the new memo, DACA was once again rescinded in full for the more than 300,000 people—including nearly 56,000 of the youngest potential applicants—who were locked out of applying for initial grants of DACA since the administration’s first rescission effort; although current recipients would be permitted to continue applying to renew protections, the memo cuts the duration of future grants in half to just one year and makes changes to advance parole and other important aspects of DACA.

The lists below include the Center for American Progress’ top recent resources on DACA.

Annual, national surveys of DACA recipients, conducted by Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream; the National Immigration Law Center; and CAP, measure DACA’s impacts on recipients’ lives and are discussed in the columns below: