Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was enacted on June 15, 2012. DACA made it so individuals who came to the United States illegally as children would not be immediately deported, but instead have a two year deferment period where they could obtain an education or serve in the United States military. After two years, those individuals were able to apply for an extension to remain in the U.S.
The process to apply for DACA is not an easy one. There is a lot of documentation required; proof that applicants were: 31 years of age or younger in 2012, physically present in the U.S, carrying a lawful status, and in school or in the military. On top of acquiring proof for all the previously stated requirements, applicants also had to complete USCIS form I-821D, I-765, and I-765WS. Applicants must also submit a $465 processing fee with their paperwork. Once the paperwork is received by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, applicants are scheduled for biometric services where they provide their fingerprints, have their photograph taken, and also provide a signature sample. Only after this long process can applicants find out if they are eligible to remain in the United States. There is no set time frame for application review and applicants may not appeal the decision.
Those who are in the United States under DACA are individuals who came to U.S. before their 16th birthday, are pursuing a high school diploma/GED or serving in the United States military (or have previously done one or both), and are free of any Felonies or Significant Misdemeanor. These are contributing members of our society who enrich our country. Individuals in the U.S. under DACA have worked hard to achieve their high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some individuals in the U.S. under DACA are putting their lives on the line daily to defend this country and serve in the military. Some individuals who were in the U.S. under DACA gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve in the United States of America.
I am a white woman with no right to the land established as the United States. My family moved to the U.S. from Lithuania many generations ago when hundreds of thousands of other families moved to what is now the U.S. We claimed this land from the indigenous population. We did not learn their language and we did not serve in their military (or help defend their villages). In fact we did the opposite; we forced them to learn our language, we raped the indigenous women, we claimed the land they inhabited as our property, we killed those who got in our way, we forced their children to participate in our educational system, which for many of them meant being taken from their families and moved thousands of miles away. Modern day American is not comprised of a primarily indigenous population but rather those whose ancestors come from a plethora of countries. America is a melting pot of many different countries. We should be celebrating our diversity and learning from each other. We should be grateful to those who are coming to the United States of America to further their education and contribute to this nation.