Obama introduced DACA during the 2012 election cycle, responding not only to an upcoming election day, but also to undocumented youth who camped out in his campaign offices urging the president to take executive action to defend them from detention and deportation. While the program is in full swing and offered those who lived here since they were children a hope for college and to fulfill their dreams, its flaws are clear.
The program was a designated as a quick substitute in place of Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act legislation. Like the DREAM Act, DACA is a federal program, which means that while recipients are authorized to work, each state gets to decide whether these youth can also acquire driver’s licenses and in-state tuition.
Unfortunately, some states are not offering in-state tuition and appear to be taking the opportunity to charge higher out of state rates to DACA recipients. This being true, many DACA recipients are unable to afford college tuition and therefore may not be eligible for DACA renewals. As of yet, there has not been a renewal application created yet many applicants will expire before the end of the year. It is anticipated that the renewal process may take 3-4 months so plan to apply early.