Administrative Relief for Undocumented Immigrants


On November 9, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas judge’s ruling to delay President Obama’s expansion of immigration deferred action. On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the case. The Court will hear oral arguments on April 18, 2016 and we expect it to issue a decision in June 2016.

3 things communities should know about Immigration Executive Action following the Fifth Circuit ruling:

  1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is still available for those who are eligible under the original requirements announced in 2012. NIJC continues to offer free legal clinics in the Chicago area for individuals who want to apply for or renew their DACA status. See a calendar of upcoming clinics at:
  2. The expansion of DACA and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs the Obama administration announced in 2014 remain on hold, but NIJC encourages individuals to continue to gather documents, save money and schedule a legal consultation to determine whether they may be eligible for other more permanent forms of relief. About 14 percent of individuals NIJC has screened for DACA have found out they are eligible for more permanent forms of immigration relief.

    Individuals in Chicago and Indiana may schedule legal consultations with NIJC by calling (312) 660-1370 or emailing The Immigration Advocates Network maintains a national list of legal service providers.
  3. The latest Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “enforcement priorities” guidelines, which the president announced in November 2014 and went into effect in January 2015, are not affected by the Fifth Circuit ruling. Under these enforcement priorities, individuals who would be eligible for DAPA should not be placed in deportation proceedings. DAPA-eligible individuals who are placed in deportation proceedings are eligible for administrative closure. Download a PDF of NIJC’s fact sheets (in English and Spanish) to learn more about the DHS enforcement priorities. 
NIJC will continue to fight for immigrant families and advocate for protection for all individuals. Read our response and legal analysis of the Fifth Circuit ruling here.

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Extensive DACA Resources

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Those who qualify:

  • Parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child as of November 20, 2014
  • Child can be a minor or adult and single or married
  • Continuously resided in the United States from January 1, 2010, to the present
  • Physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or 3 or more misdemeanor offenses
  • Can prove that you deserve a grant of deferred action




Fee: $465

The U.S. government has delayed the beginning date for this program. No application is available at this time.




Those who qualify:

  • Arrived in the U.S. when under 16 years of age
  • Have continuously resided in the United States from January 1, 2010, to the present
  • Physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, at the time of filing the application
  • Did not have lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Currently enrolled in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED, are enrolled in GED classes or are honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • Are at least 15 years old (may be younger if in removal proceedings)

Fee: $465

The U.S. government has delayed the beginning date for this program. No application is available at this time for the expanded DACA program, however people may still apply for DACA protection under the 2012 eligibility requirements.



What Protections Does
Deferred Action Provide?

Temporary relief from deportation for 3 years

Employment authorization for 3 years
(may qualify for social security number
and driver’s license)

May be eligible to travel abroad with advance permission


What documents do I need?

Proof of Identity:
Birth certificate • Passport or other photo ID

Proof of Family Relationship:
Child’s Birth Certificate
Proof of Child's US citizenship or LPR status

Arrest records (if applicable):
Certified dispositions for any arrest/conviction

Presence in the United States:
School records • Taxes, leases, bills
Medical records • Military records



Individuals who meet one of the government’s deportation priority categories may not be eligible for DAPA or DACA:

  • Threats to national security, border security, or public safety
  • Convicted of a felony or “aggravated” felony
  • Convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors
  • Convicted of 1 significant misdemeanor (DUI, burglary, domestic battery, firearms offense, and all gang-related criminal offenses)
  • Entered the United States after January 1, 2014
  • Have a deportation order that was entered against you after January 1, 2014



Apply for Waivers of Unlawful Presence Bars While Remaining
in the U.S.:

  • Avoid the 3 and 10 year bars to returning to United States if seeking status through
    a family member.
  • Expanded to include spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, and adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (previously applied only to spouses and children of U.S. citizens)
  • New definition of extreme hardship will be issued in a forthcoming regulation


This fact sheet is not intended as legal advice. It is always advisable to consult an immigration attorney to determine whether you are eligible for any benefit under immigration law or policy.

Updated November 10, 2015