DACA is Done

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the use of deferred action to certain eligible aliens that Congress had not otherwise acted to provide for by law. Specifically, DACA provided certain illegal aliens who entered the United States before the age of sixteen a period of deferred action and eligibility to request employment authorization.

On June 11, 2017, attorneys general from several conservative states threatened to sue the Trump administration unless it took steps by Sept. 5 to end the program. Effective immediately, DHS will begin adjudicating requests for DACA and associated applications as specified below:

  • All DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after the date of this memorandum will be rejected.
  • USCIS will reject all requests to renew DACA and associated applications for EADs filed after October 5, 2017.
  • Current DACA recipients will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their employment authorization documents (EADs) until they expire unless terminated or revoked.
  • Properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for EADs accepted by DHS as of September 5, 2017, will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for EADs from current beneficiaries that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, that have been accepted as of October 5, 2017, will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for EADs from current beneficiaries accepted by DHS as of September 5, 2017, will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.
  • DHS will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
  • DHS will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole.
  • DHS will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program and will refund all associated fees.
  • DHS will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.

It is important to note that DACA recipients are unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred. Once this period of deferred action expires that removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment. While the information provided to USCIS in DACA requests is not proactively provided to ICE and CBP, it may if:

  • Conditional Permanent Resident Status or Asylum/Refugee Status terminates
  • Information indicates the alien is under investigation for, has been arrested for, or has been convicted of a violent felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

These are the links to the DHS Press Release and DHS FAQ.

These events highlight the need of an experienced attorney

DHS has stated that DACA recipients will not be deported as long as they have DACA. However, a DACA grant does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship. DACA may also be rescinded, modified or withdrawn in the future. For these and other reasons, it is worthwhile to investigate whether you are eligible for immigration relief other than DACA. Permanent Residence and Asylum are just two examples.

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For more information contact Litwin & Smith at (650) 588-7100 or visit our Green Cards and Naturalization section for more information.

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