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The DACA Advantage: Travel Inside the U.S.

One thing every undocumented person knows is that without legal documents it is very hard to travel inside the United States. Just taking the bus from New York to Buffalo to visit relatives can be an impossible experience. Undocumented immigrants who receive work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are able to travel freely inside the United States. When asked for ID to fly, or to take a bus or train, the Federally issued DACA work permit will get them to where they are going inside the United States. 

The rules for folks who have DACA travelling out of the United States are more complicated. Here is advice from the National Immigration Law Center:

 If USCIS approves your request for deferred action, you may travel outside of the U.S. if you apply for and receive advance parole from USCIS. Advance parole allows you to leave the U.S. for humanitarian, employment, or educational reasons.

You can apply for advance parole on USCIS Form I-131 (www.uscis.gov/i-131). Check with an attorney before leaving the U.S., since receiving advance parole does not guarantee that you will be able to return to the U.S.

Note that you cannot apply for advance parole and DACA at the same time. You cannot apply for advance parole until after you have received DACA.

You can find additional information about advance parole in the webinar available at this URL: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/webinars/webinar-travel-abroad-deferre....

Pat Young is an attorney at CARECEN.

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