Can an individual in Texas apply for DACA if they have an arrest or conviction on their record?

If an individual has not been convicted of a felony crime, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more non-significant misdemeanors that stem from the same incident, they may still be considered for DACA.1 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also states that the number of arrests an individual has on their record won’t disqualify them from being considered for deferred action. If an individual is looking to apply for DACA but has a conviction on their record, a Texas immigration lawyer can determine if they are still eligible to apply.


How often does USCIS approve DACA applications for those who have an arrest on their record?


According to data provided by USCIS, there have been many individuals who have been approved for DACA even with an arrest on their record. According to the data, which was released by USCIS in 2018, 59,786 individuals had arrest records when they applied for DACA. Some were approved while others were denied. According to USCIS, “approximately 13 percent (7,814) of approved DACA requestors with an arrest had an arrest after their grant was approved and prior to renewal.”


What should a DACA recipient do if they were arrested?


If an individual is arrested while being granted deferred action, it could impact their ability to maintain their status if they are convicted of the crime. In addition, it could also interfere with their ability to renew their benefits. It all depends on the type of charge that has been filed against them and whether the arrest turns into a conviction.

For example, if an individual is convicted of DUI while holding an active DACA status, USCIS may not permit them to renew their status. In the event the individual was only arrested but never convicted as the offense was later dismissed, then they can still apply. It is worth noting, however, that this information will need to be disclosed to USCIS at the time they submit their renewal and USCIS can use it as a factor in the decision-making process.

Individuals should be aware that USCIS does approve and deny DACA applications on a case-by-case basis.


How can a Texas immigration lawyer help a DACA recipient who has been arrested?


If a DACA recipient is ready to renew their DACA benefits but they have an arrest on their record, it would be in their best interest to contact the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen. Because the arrest could influence USCIS’s decision to approve or deny their application, it is best to have an attorney working on their side who can help them convince USCIS that they should continue receiving benefits.

The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen is an immigration law firm located in San Antonio that can assist an individual with a variety of immigration-related matters, including those involving DACA.


The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen can be reached at:


310 South St. Mary’s Street, Suite 2100

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Phone: 210-503-2800

Website: www.jjosephcohen.com



  1. https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/new-data-shows-criminal-arrest-histories-of-daca-requestors
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