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Tennessee DACA Recipients May Benefit from Counsel Provided by Immigration Lawyers

— September 16, 2022

Thousands of DACA recipients call the State of Tennessee their home.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a United States Federal Government program that was created in 2012 under the Obama Administration. The program was designed to address the growing number of children of illegal immigrants, who are living in the United States, who did not have access to necessary activities of American living, such as the ability to legally work, or obtain a driver’s license, as well as being excluded access to certain health insurance, and education benefits necessary for their socioeconomic mobility and health. Because of the widespread need for immigration reform and the sluggish movement by the federal government toward addressing some of these tenuous components, DACA was set up to temporarily shield a certain class of immigrants from being deported, and provided eligibility for work permits with unlimited renewal until Congress fully addressed immigration reform.  Individuals who are looking for protection under DACA guidelines should talk with an immigration lawyer to access the latest information toward an application for benefits.  

DACA in Tennessee

Thousands of DACA recipients call the State of Tennessee their home.  As of March 2020, 7,650 DACA recipients lived in Tennessee and DACA educational requirements would be met with an additional 5,000 residents of Tennessee, while less than 1,000 would become eligible as they get older.  The Biden-Harris administration has the opportunity to take bold action and uphold their promise to bring much needed relief for 11 million undocumented families who call the United States home. DACA recipients who are concerned about their current status and changes to the laws should consult with an immigration attorney in Knoxville.  

Economic benefits

Protest in support of DACA (against its rescission) at Trump Tower in New York City; photo by Rhododendrites (Own work), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, no changes.
Protest in support of DACA (against its rescission) at Trump Tower in New York City; photo by Rhododendrites (Own work), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, no changes.

Common benefits of DACA to the United States include:

  • increased funding for social programs and a reduction in the economic deficit – DACA recipients pay more taxes into the system than they take out.
  • increased rates of entrepreneurship – skilled immigrants generate businesses and new gadgets.
  • state benefit from increased revenue taxes – many DACA enrollees have purchased cars, or houses for which they pay taxes, and registration fees.  
  • educated human capital – data from The New American Economy, reports 81.4 percent of DACA recipients have graduated from high school and taken a college course. In addition, nearly 17 percent have gone to college and earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree.  America should want to utilize the benefits associated with educated immigrants.

First time DACA consideration

First time requests for DACA were not allowed to be considered after the December 4, 2020 Court Order and eligible individuals must meet the criteria for a first-time applicant which states:

  1. Individual must be under 31 years  of age as of June 15, 2012,
  2. Entered the United States while under the age of 16 years,
  3. Have had continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007,
  4. Entered the United States without USCIS inspection before June 15, 2012, and individuals whose lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012,
  5. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 requesting DAA 
  6. consideration with USCIS,
  7. Are currently attending school, are high school graduates, or obtained GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard, or United States Armed Forces, and
  8. Have not been convicted of a felony  offense, significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanor offenses and do not pose a threat to national security, or public safety.

Seek legal counsel

It is imperative for DACA recipients, and those wishing to make a first time application to avoid deportation, to seek guidance from a Tennessee immigration attorney, as the laws are ever-changing and may impact the means for application to be processed in accordance with the current changes to law. 


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