Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy founded by the Obama administration in June 2012.


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created to protect eligible young adults who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and to provide them with work authorization for temporary, renewable periods. As of December 31, 2022, there were roughly 580,000 active DACA recipients from close to 200 different countries of birth residing all over the U.S. While individuals with DACA status can be authorized to work, they remain ineligible for many federal programs, including health coverage through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance Marketplaces. These restrictions result in higher uninsured rates among DACA recipients, contributing to barriers accessing health care. On April 26, 2023, the Biden Administration published a proposed rule to expand eligibility for health coverage to DACA recipients. Such an eligibility expansion would likely reduce uninsured rates among DACA recipients and, in turn, facilitate access to care and enhance financial protections from medical costs. The future of the DACA program remains uncertain with it subject to pending court rulings.


  • DACA was originally established via executive action in June 2012 to protect certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from removal proceedings and receive authorization to work for renewable two-year periods.
  • While DACA protects an individual from removal action for a certain period of time, it does not provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship, and people with DACA status remain ineligible for federally funded health coverage.
  • The Biden Administration published a final rule in 2022 that would codify DACA largely consistent with its existing eligibility requirements and scope, but it’s implementation is limited subject to court orders



  • Added 8/22/23, Lydia McNeiley, School City of Hammond): Undocumented students do have options.  They would have to pay out of state tuition, but many institutions offer assistance. There is a great article from this month’s ASCA magazine from Dr. Cha and Dr. Perez.  They do really great work in the field and the article has a lot of resources. I would also reach out to Indiana Latino Institute for resources. You can reach Lucas Norrington at I would also reach out to any HSI’s (Hispanic Serving Institutions) that have resources as well, they also have scholarships for students who are undocumented.
  • Oftentimes private colleges are able to provide better scholarship packages than public schools.
  • DACA students qualify for in-state tuition rates (Indiana).


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