Deferred Action Programs (DACA/DAPA)
NOTE: The June 2016 United States v. Texas 4-4 Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s executive actions effectively halted the implementation of Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) expansion. As a result, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting applications for the expanded DACA program for youth or the DAPA program. USCIS continues to accept renewal applications or initial applications from people who qualify under the DACA criteria announced in June 2012.
On November 21, 2014, President Obama used his executive authority to announce a series of sweeping changes to the country’s immigration policies and practices, which may potentially impact 5 million undocumented immigrants and their families. In California alone, 1.5 million immigrants are eligible for the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs. Estimates by the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration show that L.A. County is ground zero for this implementation, with more than 500,000 residents eligible for DACA and DAPA. MOIA has organized many of these communities and created an integrated outreach campaign to boost enrollment in these programs.
Total Population Eligible for DAPA or DACA in Los Angeles: 511,000
- Population Immediately Eligible for DACA 2012 Program: 111,000
- Population Immediately Eligible for DACA 2014 Expansion Program: 33,000
- Population Eligible for DAPA Program: 367,000
Although the benefits of these programs are overwhelmingly positive, the programs were halted due to the United States v. Texas legal decision, a lawsuit filed by 25 state governors opposing the President’s executive actions. In response, more than 70 mayors filed an amicus brief in 2015 to support and defend the president’s executive action. Shortly afterwards, Mayor Garcetti created a petition, gathering thousands of signatures in support of President Obama’s executive actions. MOIA presented this information in New Orleans during the United States v. Texas hearings, elaborating that these programs would add an estimated $41 billion in new tax revenue to the nation’s economy over the next ten years.
In January 2016, the Supreme Court made a decision to review United States v. Texas, a case that challenges President Obama’s Executive Actions on immigration that created DAPA and expanded DACA. Mayor Garcetti supported the Court's decision, stating, “immigrants have always been vital to our nation’s spirit of innovation, ingenuity, and inclusiveness. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to review United States v. Texas brings us another step closer to more fully integrating those residents into American life. I urge the Justices to reach a decision that preserves family bonds across our country and speaks to the best of who we are as Americans.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed led the effort to organize 84 cities and counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to file an amicus brief in December 2015.
In addition to this national-level advocacy work, the City of Los Angeles has coordinated efforts with local municipal governments, counties, philanthropic sectors, and local community-based organizations to assist eligible populations in sharing information and offering key services. In July 2014, the Mayor’s Office led 10 Los Angeles area DACA college students to Washington, D.C. to meet with the L.A. Congressional delegation and USCIS Director León Rodríguez to highlight the program’s benefits. Between August and November 2014, Los Angeles hosted five DACA clinics which helped over 300 students apply for renewal and coordinated with USCIS on community education events. In January 2015, MOIA launched a joint effort with the California Community Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, and the California Endowment, among others, to help residents of the City of Los Angeles apply for deferred action and citizenship through the New Americans Opportunity Fund.
- Request DACA for the First Time or Renew your DACA
- DACA Application Assistance (We Own The Dream)
- Los Angeles County DACA Taskforce – local DACA implementation taskforce
- DACA Renewal FAQs
Immigration Enforcement (PEP)
On July 7, 2014, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the Los Angeles Police Department would no longer heed federal immigration requests to detain inmates who might be deportable past their jail terms unless a federal judge had vetted the request, a practice that occurred commonly under the federal Secure Communities Program.
Secure Community practices were reexamined after a federal court ruling found that an Oregon county was liable for damages after holding an inmate beyond her release date so she could be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On November 20, 2014, Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a memorandum announcing the discontinuation of the Secure Communities program. According to Secretary Johnson, this decision followed a recommendation made by the Homeland Security Advisory Council Task Force that Secure Communities be “implemented in a way that supports community policing and sustains the trust of all elements of the community in working with local law enforcement.”
As such, the "Priority Enforcement Program" or “PEP” was instituted. The PEP relies on fingerprint-based biometric data submitted during bookings by state and local law enforcement agencies to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for criminal background checks which are only conducted for individuals who have been convicted of a “priority offense.” (See https://www.ice.gov/pep for comprehensive list).
More importantly, PEP sought to address the potential violation of Fourth Amendment rights in detainer-based detention by state and local law enforcement agencies by replacing the common practice of issuing “requests for detention” (i.e., requests that an agency hold an individual beyond the point at which they would otherwise be released) with requests for notification (i.e., requests that state or local law enforcement notify ICE of a pending release during the time that person is otherwise in custody under state or local authority).
If you have any questions or concerns about PEP, contact an LAPD community relations liaison by clicking here. Liaisons for the AAPI, African-American, Latino, and LGBT communities are available.