On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and accompanying applications for work authorization, under specific parameters.
All DACA benefits are provided on a two-year basis, so individuals who currently have DACA will be allowed to retain both DACA and their accompanying work authorizations (EADs) until they expire, even if the expiration date is later than March 5, 2018.
It remains to be seen whether or not Congress acts to pass any protection or not, but in the meantime, DACA recipients (aka “Dreamers”) should be aware of the following, and take appropriate action:
- The program has been terminated as of September 5, 2017, and new DACA applications are no longer being accepted by USCIS.
- You must act immediately if you have DACA and a work permit that expires on or before March 5, 2018. You can apply for a two-year renewal of your DACA and EAD, but your application for renewal must be received on or before October 5, 2017.
- You are not eligible for an extension if you have DACA that expires after March 5, 2018, and your DACA, work authorization and protection from deportation will expire on the date shown on your DACA approval notice and work permit.
- If your pending DACA application was received at USCIS on or before September 5, 2017, your application will continue to be processed.
- If you have DACA and a valid advance parole travel document, you may still use the document to travel and return to the U.S. provided you return before the document expires. However, even with a valid travel document, you may be denied entry, so before you travel, speak with a qualified immigration lawyer.
- USCIS will no longer process or approve applications for advance parole for DACA recipients. If you have an application for DACA-based advance parole pending as of September 5, 2017, USCIS will close the application and return the filing fees to you.
- The government can terminate your DACA and work permit at any time if it believes you are no longer eligible or for any other reason, even with valid DACA and a valid work permit.
DHS has provided a list of FAQs which may help to answer any further questions about the rescission of the DACA program, or you may feel free to contact Brenda Eckert or Linda Yoder if you have any specific questions. If you wish to learn more about the history of DACA and what it provided, click here.
We will try to keep you apprised of further changes as they develop.