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Deferred Action

Audio Description: Watch New York City DACA recipients share their stories about the importance of defending DACA, the federal immigration program that gives young immigrants the opportunity to work lawfully and provides temporary protection from deportation.


DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a federal immigration program begun in 2012 under President Obama that helps undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as young people. DACA provides eligible undocumented immigrants with temporary protection from deportation and access to work authorization.

President Trump's Announcement on DACA

What did the President announce?
As of September 5, 2017, the federal government will stop accepting new DACA applications. New DACA applications that were accepted as of September 5, 2017 will be adjudicated. People whose DACA will expire before or on March 5, 2018 can receive a two-year renewal if their renewal application is accepted by the federal government by October 5, 2017. No renewals will be granted for DACA recipients whose DACA status expires on or after March 6, 2018. All current DACA statuses will remain valid until the date of their expiration. Additionally, the federal government will not approve any new Advance Parole documents for DACA recipients as of September 5, 2017.

I have legal questions about what this decision means for me. What should I do?
ActionNYC can provide free, safe immigration legal help in your language. Call 1-800-354-0365 between 9AM-6PM, Monday-Friday. You can also call 311 and say "ActionNYC."

I currently have DACA. Should I renew right now?
Current DACA recipients may apply for renewal if their DACA status expires between September 5th, 2017 and March 5th, 2018. These applications for renewal must be accepted by October 5th 2017.

I don’t have DACA. Can I still apply?
No new applications for DACA will be accepted that are dated after September 5th 2017. If you want to connect to free, safe immigration legal help call 1-800-354-0365 between 9AM-6PM, Monday-Friday. You can also call 311 and say "ActionNYC."

I have DACA and a work permit. Is my work authorization still valid?
Your employment authorization card is valid until expiration, unless it is terminated or revoked individually.

I’m a DACA recipient. Will the information I shared with the federal government be used to deport me?
The federal government has confirmed that information provided in DACA requests will not be proactively provided to immigration enforcement agencies, unless the individual meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to immigration enforcement authorities under the criteria set forth in the federal government’s Notice to Appear guidance (www.uscis.gov/NTA). Generally, such criteria address cases that involve public safety threats, criminals, and non-citizens engaged in fraud. 

I'm a DACA recipient and I have a New York State Driver's License, Permit, or Non-Driver's ID. Is this still valid?
NYS driver’s licenses and identity documents remain valid until the document’s expiration date (not the “Temporary Visitor” expiration date). However, you cannot renew your driver’s license or other DMV identity document if you no longer have valid “Temporary Visitor” status (such as DACA) at the time you apply for renewal. New York City residents who need identification can apply for an IDNYC card for free, regardless of immigration status. IDNYC does not grant you a license to drive, but it is accepted identification across the City government and in many other situations. Call 311 and say "IDNYC" or visit nyc.gov/IDNYC to schedule an appointment.

I’m a DACA recipient. Is my social security number still valid?
Social Security Numbers do not expire, but if you no longer have work authorization, the number will no longer be valid for an E-Verify employment authorization check.

I have DACA and receive public health insurance (Medicaid) in New York State. Will I be allowed to keep the health insurance even after my DACA status expires?
Your current health insurance coverage is not immediately impacted by the DACA decision.
If you have work authorization through DACA, your employer may be providing you and your dependents with health coverage or other benefits. If your DACA expires and you lose your work authorization, that health coverage and any other benefits you receive from your employer may be at risk.

If you are a DACA recipient and have Medicaid coverage, you can renew your coverage for 12 months as long as your DACA status is active on the day you renew and you still meet other eligibility criteria for the program. In most cases, you can apply for renewal before your Medicaid expires. New York State has yet to announce if it will continue to provide Medicaid coverage for DACA recipients whose DACA status expires.

Can DACA recipients and their children still attend public school – even after their DACA status expires?
Yes, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Mayor’s Office are committed to protecting the right of every student in New York City to attend public school, regardless of immigration status. The United States Supreme Court has also recognized the importance of public education for all students, including undocumented students.

Are NYS professional licenses still valid, even after my DACA expires?

In 2016, the New York Board of Regents authorized DACA recipients, and other applicants “not unlawfully present,” to obtain a professional license and certain teacher certifications if they have met all other requirements for licensure except for their citizenship status. A professional license is valid for life unless it is revoked, annulled, or suspended by the Board of Regents. However, if you wish to practice or use your professional title in New York State, you are required to register with the Office of Professions periodically. It is unclear at this time what the policies are regarding someone who holds a license who loses status before it is time for renewal. We will provide more information as soon as it’s available.

Resources for DACA Recipients

Get connected to free, confidential legal help.
The City provides free, confidential immigrant legal services. Call 311 and say "ActionNYC," to be connected to a provider or to find a clinic in your neighborhood. We are adding more operators to the ActionNYC hotline, and staff will prioritize DACA-related appointments.

Get financial help for DACA renewal fees.
The federal government currently charges $495 in fees for DACA renewal applications. There are several organizations offering financial help for those in need of financial assistance:

  • The New Economy Project is offering  rapid-response grants and 0% interest loans.Call (212) 680-5100 or visit their website here for more information.
  • The Mexican consulate is offering financial help for eligible Mexican nationals renewing DACA. For a consultation to determine if you are eligible, visit the Consulate's Protection Department (27 East 39th Street, 2nd floor, New York, NY) from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. No appointment is needed in advance. Call (212) 217-6400 for more information.
  • The Mission Asset Fund is offering scholarships nationwide to fully cover the fees needed to renew DACA. Apply online here.
If you’re feeling anxious, stressed or depressed – help is available.
It’s normal to feel anxiety and stress. ThriveNYC will give you access to mental health supports in your language. Call 1-888-NYC-WELL, text “WELL” to 65173, or go online to nyc.gov/nycwell.

Stay connected – get an IDNYC.
IDNYC is a free, official government-issued identification card recognized in City buildings, public schools and by the NYPD. Call 311 and say "IDNYC" or visit nyc.gov/idnyc to make an appointment.

How You Can Support NYC Dreamers

Share this on Social Media
New Yorkers have embraced the DACA program, and DACA has in turn provided thousands of New Yorkers with the opportunity to pursue higher education, their career goals, and to give back to the country they call home. Mayor de Blasio and over 100 members of the Cities for Action coalition continue to call on President Trump to preserve the DACA program.

Contribute to the legal defense of Dreamers
If you are a lawyer or paralegal, offer your services by signing up with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs at nyc.gov/MOIAVolunteer. If you know a lawyer or a paralegal, ask if they can offer pro bono support.

Help out at a local community service provider or clinic.
Right now more than ever, New York City’s immigrant communities need your support. Sign up to volunteer through the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs at nyc.gov/MOIAVolunteer.

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