Applicants Are Eligible for DACA Relief at the Age of 15

Interviewer: At what age can someone apply for DACA Relief?

Jeanne Morales: You can apply for it as soon as you turn 15. You can apply for it younger than 15 if you’re already in removal proceedings, that means you’ve been identified as an undocumented person and you’ve been cited by Border Patrol or ICE and you are in immigration court proceedings. You can apply younger than age 15 if that’s the case.

Applying for DACA Relief While Attending School or Enrolling in School to Qualify for DACA Relief

Interviewer: Oh, I see. If someone is not currently in school but would like to reenroll in high school could they qualify for that?

Jeanne Morales: Yes, all you have to do is either have graduated or gotten a GED or be currently in school. We’re trying to target the different groups within DACA and one is people who are already in high school. There are people in high school that can’t get a job, can’t get a driver’s license, can’t apply for college because they don’t have a social and they’re not legal.

Now you’re in high school so we’re attempting to get as many of those people possible. High school being what it is, there are some people who fail to graduate and drop out and go to work under the table. As long as they reenroll in school that makes them eligible for DACA.

Someone who maybe has moved on, the people that are closer today to 30, might not want to go sit in a high school class, GED classes qualify, and online high schools qualify.

Interviewer: Do all sorts of schools like private schools, public schools, qualify to the DACA program?

Jeanne Morales: Yes. It doesn’t have to be a public school. It can be a private school.

Continuous Presence in the United States Required in Order to Obtain DACA Relief

Interviewer: Does a brief interruption of the requirement to be in the US continuously from June 15th 2007 to July 15th 2012 affect my eligibility for deferred action?

Jeanne Morales: There are certain brief departures; a brief casual or innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence. Remember in immigration law words have specific meanings and there are some parts of immigration law that say that a person has to be physically present somewhere. Well the DACA is saying that they have to have residence here. My residence is Midland but I routinely travel to El Paso for work. It doesn’t make me an El Paso resident. It’s a brief casual and innocent absence from the city of Midland, Texas. Those kinds of brief departures will not affect your eligibility.