DACA - am I missing something?

DACA = Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

“Deferred” means not now. It doesn’t mean not ever.

Why are those utilizing DACA not taking the appropriate steps toward permanent residency or citizenship? Why do they think they can defer the action forever? I thought the idea was to defer action to deport so you have some time to do something about it.

Or am I missing something?

Registration for DACA does not provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship. I have heard of cases in which teenage DACA recipients sought to join the military, but had to leave the United States, apply for a visa, and then return before they could enlist. In the cases I heard about, this process took years.

I wasn’t suggesting it did provide a path. I’m only suggesting that it allows for action to deport someone to be deferred if they registered under DACA. That deferral would allow them to find a path that would allow them to stay in the US legally.

DACA is a completely different thing than finding a way to stay in the US permanently and legally.

It would allow them to find which path that permits them to stay legally?

Are we talking past each other?

You can’t apply for permanent residency if you’re in the country illegally. By definition, DACA recipients are in the country illegally. If you’re registered under DACA, there’s no way to stay in the country and adjust your status to being a permanent resident or citizen. It isn’t that DACA doesn’t give you the path, or that someone needs to try harder to become a green card holder. The law prohibits what you are suggesting what Dreamers should try to do.

Because no such steps exist if you’ve been living in the country illegally.

Then, apparently, I was missing something. You’re saying that those registered under DACA have no way whatsoever to work toward a legal status? That seems silly.

Maybe that is the change that is needed. Register under DACA and you can work toward a legal status.

If this is the case, then what is the purpose of DACA if there is nothing you can do to stay in the US legally?

You can’t marry a US citizen and then apply for a status change?

That is the current debate, yes. A number of Republicans don’t want DACA recipients to be able to obtain citizenship (or even permanent legal status) because “Amnesty!!!”

It was to give DACA recipients some measure of peace and stability while Congress gets its shit together on immigration.

Marrying solely for the purpose of citizenship is one of those things the government frowns upon as numerous sitcoms will tell you. Simply marrying a citizen is no guarantee of citizenship in any event.

Edit: per the gummint websites, requirements for citizenship via marriage include:

Since DACA recipients aren’t, and can not be, permanent residents this wouldn’t work regardless.

To add to what Jophiel stated, Trump recently proposed a framework of an immigration deal that went over like a lead balloon. Folks on the left and the right found ample things that they opposed.

On the right, probably the most objectionable part of the Trump’s plan was the provide “a path to citizenship” for 1.8 million Dreamers.

Still wondering exactly what it was they received - more time? Time for what? I would characterize DACA more as a meaningless appeasement from your always-eager-to-please liberal lawmakers.

Good luck with that.

DACA is the result of an executive order to protect a certain class of undocumented residents, e.g. those brought here as children prior to 2008, who are in or have graduated from high school, and who are employed full time or in college, and who have not committed any felony or serious misdemeanor crimes. DACA recipients are not elligible for federal benefits or entitlements, so they are a net benefit to the economy. As it is executive policy it cannot change the immigration status of a person, which requires legislation that Congress has steadfastly refused to pass, but merely defines enforce ent of existing immigration statutes. (It is not, as claimed by some, any kind of executive overreach, as specifying enforcement policy is explicitly within the president’s powers over the executive branch.)

From a practical standpoint, there is no benefit and a serious cost to the tune of ~$10k per adult deportation (more for children) notwithstanding lost revenue from productive taxpayers. There is of course the moral costs and further reduction in the reputation of the US among developed nations for fair and reasonable treatment, all of which is being lost strictly to pander to a minority of xenophobes who fear that “illegal” immigrants (who, again, were brought here as children and have a demonstrated history at least a minimum of academic and financial success) are taking our shitty, low paying jobs that most people don’t want and working their way up the socioeconomic ladder, which is precisely what anti-entitlement fiscal conservatives claim to favor (and, by the way, we desperately need, especially in home health and elder care sectors).

Despite various comedies to the contrary, marrying a US citizen is not a guaranteed path to citizenship, and the “marriage in exchange for green card” route has been heavily scritinized by US Citizenship and Immigration Services in the past could of decades. This is particularly true in the case of people who entered illegally (not just on an expired student or work visa) and have no documentation.

Time to not be reflexively deported to countries where they have no family or social connections and often don’t speak the language fluently. If you want to assign blame, blame a Congress in which the GOP has consistently blocked immigration reform that has been requested now for over a decade and counting.


They have received more time for being productive members of society, engaged in work or school with no eligibility for food stamps and similar Federal benefits, while not being threatened with deportation. There’s plenty of stories of Dreamers going to college, med school, a small handful have joined the military, etc.

The Deferred Action refers to the congress and not the recipient. Obama wanted congress to legalize the recipients but congress would not do so. So Obama created DACA so the recipients would not be deported while waiting for congress to act.

Well, I didn’t say “citizenship” I said adjustment of status.

And I didn’t say fraudulently.

My question is “Can a DACA person marry a US citizen and then have it be at least **possible **to change their status to legal immigrant”

Time for Congress to come up with a solution. The fact that time “ran out” is a failure on the part of Congress, not on the part of the DACA recipients. The recipients weren’t given an extension so THEY could get stuff done, it was just so they could lead normal lives while Congress figured things out.

No. Especially if you’re in violation of the law by being here illegally.

Being a DACA recipient requires a stay in the US for longer than the “you’re ineligible for a green card if you’ve been here illegally” period. So, no, you can not get legal residence via marriage if you are a DACA recipient.

Well, and on Trump, who ended the program (and, maybe, on the various state governors who would have sued to end it had he not). It’s not like DACA was a specifically-enumerated delay that ran out. It was an ongoing-ish half-measure that was explicitly ended before an actual long-term solution was found.

Great, thank you!