10 Things You Can Do Right Now as a DACA Recipient

As we await a final decision on DACA in the federal courts, it is important to explore what you can do right now if you are undocumented with DACA. For the program’s 12th anniversary, we compiled 10 things you can do right now as a DACA Recipient.

  1. Continue Renewing Your DACA. You may continue renewing your DACA even during the pending court case. Especially if your DACA is expiring in the next 6 months, it is recommended that you submit your renewal application to prevent any potential delays.
  2. Explore Options Beyond DACA. There may be immigration remedy options available to you aside from DACA, some of which may provide a permanent resident status in the U.S. or abroad!
    • Consider speaking with your employer about receiving an employment-based visa. Read more about PERM and how employers can advocate for DACA recipients.
    • Read more about other long-term options in adjusting your status, such as adjustment through marriage, U-Visa, asylum, and many other remedies.
    • Explore options outside the U.S. Many undocumented individuals have sought security, wellness, and educational and professional opportunities in other countries. While this is a big decision to make, it is an opportunity worth exploring. You can read our guide and stories from individuals on our Life Outside the U.S. page.
  3. Seek out alternative pathways to employment. While undocumented immigrants face significant barriers to pursuing employment in the United States due to lack of work authorization, any immigrant, regardless of legal status, can legally earn a living through business ownership or self-employment (IRCA, 1986). Check out resources for starting your own business and generating income through entrepreneurship.
  4. Travel with Advance Parole. Advance Parole grants temporary permission for you to reenter the U.S. after traveling abroad for various reasons such as studying abroad, reuniting with family, getting medical attention, and working. This will also provide you the opportunity to gain legal entry to the U.S., which is necessary for adjusting your status.
    • Read more about the risks and benefits of Advance Parole.
    • Find Your Ally provides free immigration legal services, including Advance Parole application and fee assistance, to students, staff, and faculty in California Community Colleges.
    • Colleges and universities may have referrals to legal services providers to support students studying abroad. Check with the undocumented student program or study abroad program on your campus.
  5. Get an Immigration Screening. Explore your options for adjusting your status through immigration screening services. We encourage you to do an annual screening of your potential options, as immigration policies change constantly.
    • Immigration Advocates Network has a National Immigration Legal Services directory of immigration legal services throughout the U.S. where you can search by state, county, or detention facility.
    • Immi’s immigration path quiz can give you a brief understanding of what benefits you might be eligible for.
    • Find Your Ally provides free immigration legal services to students, staff, and faculty in California Community Colleges.
  6. Know Your Rights. Understand what your rights are as an undocumented or non-citizen by reading through the information below.
  7. Access mental health support. The uncertainty that comes with DACA can take a toll on your emotional and mental well-being. Consider seeking mental health support from mental health professionals or support groups to hold you through your struggles.
  8. Stay connected! You are not alone in this fight – we are here with you! Follow organizations like Immigrants Rising, ILRC, Make the Road New York, NAKASEC, NILC, UndocuBlack, America’s Voice, and United We Dream who do amazingly at empowering undocumented people to thrive.
  9. Stay informed! Get accurate information from trusted sources related to DACA litigation and local laws impacting immigrant communities. Follow news sites and organizations such as the organizations listed above for the latest updates.
  10. Advocate for immigration reform! Do your part in advocating for protective and inclusive policies within your city and state, and permanent solutions for undocumented immigrants throughout the U.S. Share your story within your communities, in hearings and meetings, and on other platforms, and help reshape the immigrant narrative!

12 Years of DACA: Demand President Biden Strengthen and Expand Protections!

Join us in the fight for DACA and permanent solutions for immigrant communities. Sign the petition demanding the Biden Administration for protection for DACA recipients, undocumented youth, and our communities!