can I travel within the U.S. if DACA expired?

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Question, If your DACA expired this month of December then you are considered illegal until the new card(s) come in correct? Financially we did not have the money to renew in time therefore my wife's DACA expired 12/02/2014 My wife and I currently live in SouthWest NM, but as you know before leaving anywhere around here you have inspection points left and right - East, West, South, North - literately everywhere. We wanted to visit some family for the holidays, but wanted to know if she can still pass immigration inspection with an expired DACA or should we avoid it by all means? Has anyone tried this?? We are trying to gather all documentation and process everyting, but until then can we pass immigration inspection?

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David Leopold's picture

Answer: 
DACA does not give anyone lawful immigration status. Rather it provides a DACA recipient with a temporary reprieve from deportation for a period of time--previously 2, now 3 years--during which he or she is considered to be in the U.S. in a period of stay authorized by the Department of Homeland Security. The authorization to remain in the U.S. expires when DACA expires, so it's advisable that your wife consider applying to renew her DACA as soon as possible. She can find detailed information about the renewal process on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-process/renew-your-daca. Regarding travel through Customs and Border Protection checkpoints in Southern New Mexico, generally CBP officers have the discretion to arrest, detain and process for removal undocumented immigrants encountered at CBP checkpoints. Therefore, I strongly suggest that your wife renew her DACA prior to traveling. If you or she are worried that she may no longer be eligible for DACA due to changed circumstances since it was first issued, I recommend she first seek the advice of a licensed attorney before filing for her renewal.

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