The expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is set to take effect next week, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency is preparing for the occasion.

Ahead of the Feb. 18 start date of DACA's expansion, USCIS launched fliers about the deferred action program in multiple languages, including Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. USCIS, one of the major three federal immigration agencies under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and tasked with the DACA application process, outlined the requirements for undocumented immigrants to apply and temporarily avoid deportation for a renewable three-year period. During the three year period, undocumented immigrants will be considered to obtain employment authorization, and thus work in the U.S.

While Obama originally created DACA in 2012 as an executive action, the president's Nov. 20, 2014, immigration executive action expanded the deferred action program for more undocumented immigrants to apply. With the expansion, eligible undocumented immigrants must have lived in the U.S. before their turning 16 years old and resided since Jan. 1, 2010.

Eligible undocumented immigrants can also be considered if they are "currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. armed forces or U.S. Coast Guard."

To obtain eligibility, the undocumented immigrants must not have been convicted of a felony, "significant" misdemeanor or three or more additional misdemeanors. The immigrant should also not pose a risk to national security or public safety for DACA consideration.

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The second deferred action program, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), will be available by mid-to-late May. With DAPA, eligible undocumented immigrants could also temporarily avoid deportation for a renewable three-year period. DAPA recipients will also be considered for work permits.

Undocumented immigrants seeking DAPA should have lived in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010 and were physically in the country as Obama's immigration executive action address. The Nov. 20, 2014, date is also important for the DAPA application process as the eligible undocumented immigrant must be a parent of a child -- of any age -- who is either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

Similar to DACA, DAPA applicants must have no felony or significant misdemeanor convictions.

The USCIS has not made available the DACA and DAPA application process.

The imminent deferred action programs' applications comes as congressional Republicans seek to defund DACA. House Republicans attached amendments affecting the 2012 deferred action program to the DHS 2015 fiscal year funding bill. While the bill passed the House, it has been blocked by Senate Democrats.

According to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the DHS bill would "restart deportations" for DACA recipients and have called for a clean bill to fund Homeland Security.

Reid added, "By refusing to bring a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security to the floor, Republicans are saying that tearing apart families is more important to them than protecting the United States and keeping Americans safe," said Reid. "If my colleagues want to fix our broken immigration system, we are happy to have a debate. But we should not put our national security at risk in the meantime."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated, "Today's Democrat Party seems willing to go to any extreme to protect the kind of executive overreach President Obama once described as 'not how our democracy functions' -- even to block Homeland Security funding to get its way."


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