Durbin Statement On Daca Renewal For Dreamers

Process for young immigrants to renew temporary legal status announced today

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the process for young immigrants to renew their temporary legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA is granted for two-year periods, and the first grants will begin expiring in September. 

“While America has been waiting for almost a year for the House of Representatives to take action on comprehensive immigration reform, the DACA program has given Dreamers a chance to come out of the shadows and contribute more fully to the only country they’ve ever called home,” said Durbin.


“These young people grew up in this country and have overcome great obstacles to succeed.  I commend President Obama for taking decisive action nearly two years ago to establish the DACA program and thank Secretary Johnson for designing a process that will allow it to continue.”

DACA allows certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, and meet several key criteria to receive deferred action and work authorization for a period of two years, subject to renewal.  Information about how to renew DACA status can be found here.  Information about how to initially apply for DACA can be found here.


Individuals who meet the following criteria may be eligible for DACA:


  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen
  2. Have lived in the United States continuously for at least the last five years
  3. Are in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a GED or are serving in the military.
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor.
  5. Are 30 years old or younger.


DACA is a smart and lawful approach to immigration enforcement.  Throughout our history, the government has decided who to prosecute – and who not to prosecute – based on law enforcement priorities, available resources and our national interests.

The DREAM Act – which is included in the Senate passed Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill – would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.  Senator Durbin first introduced the DREAM Act in 2001.  

Four years ago, Senator Durbin and then-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) first asked the Department of Homeland Security to establish DACA.  A copy of that letter can be found here.  In 2011, Durbin and Lugar were joined by 21 additional Senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), in urging the Administration to suspend the deportations of Dreamers.  A copy of that letter can be found here.