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What is DACA?

On June 15, 2012, President Obama created a new policy calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Applications under the program which is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) began on August 15, 2012.

Deferred action is a discretionary, limited immigration benefit by DHS. It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings. Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law. However, there is no direct path from deferred action to lawful permanent residence or to citizenship.  And, it can be revoked at any time.

Benefits of Deferred Action

  • Permitted “lawful presence” (NOT lawful status) for two years from date of grant
  • Employment authorized for two years
  • Can obtain social security number
  • In most states, can obtain valid driver’s license or state ID
  • Can be renewed in two years

Basic Eligibility

  • Entered the United States before age 16 and before June 16, 2007
  • Currently at least 15 years old and born after June 15, 1982
  • Continuously resided in the United States for 5 years and present in the United States on June 15, 2012
  • Currently in school, have graduated from High School, has a GED, or is currently enrolled in a GED program
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors
  • Does not pose a threat to National Security or Public Safety

DACA Application Workshops

The Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance has received a new grant from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) to provide outreach, workshops and application assistance at no-fee to DACA applicants in the following counties: Austin, Liberty, Waller, San Jacinto, Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Chambers, Brazoria, and Galveston.

The Cabrini Center staff offers DACA application assistance at DACA Workshops in Houston (Cabrini Center Main Office – 2900 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX 77006) and surrounding areas on a regular basis.


For an appointment, directions or information, please contact 713-874-6720 or

If you are interested in hosting an informational presentation, or a workshop in your community please contact 713.874.6572 or