On September 5, 2017, United States Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions formally announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program, which has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. The DACA program also provided them with legal work authorization, allowing them to enroll in post-secondary education, and to work and contribute to our society economically and culturally.
What happens next? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will stop processing any initial DACA accepted after September 5, 2017. Any applications already accepted by this date will be processed. DHS indicated that current beneficiaries of DACA will not be impacted before March 5, 2018. This is to give Congress the “time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions.” DHS has also announced that it plans to continue to accept DACA renewal applications for any DACA beneficiary whose status expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, so long as these applications are accepted by October 5, 2017. Any applications received after October 5 will be rejected. In addition, DACA recipients whose valid employment authorization document is lost, stolen or destroyed may still request a replacement through the normal process. However, DHS will no longer adjudicate advance parole request associated with DACA, any that are currently pending will be administratively closed and filing fees refunded.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services maintains that information provided in support of the application will not be proactively provided to Immigration and customs Enforcement (ICE) or to customs and border Protection (CBP) for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the requestor meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice to Appear or a referral to ICE under USCIS” Notice to Appear guidance. However, a DHS spokesman stated that if Congress does not act, then DACA beneficiaries would be treated as any other person who is in the country illegally. Additionally, all of the information provided to the government by DACA applicants will remain in the DHS system.
Individuals who may be affected by the rescission of DACA should speak to an experienced and licensed attorney who will be able to provide guidance in view of these new developments. And, while notarios and paralegals are cheap, and there are plenty of information to be found on the internet, it is best to consult with an experienced and licensed immigration attorney who will be able to give individuals honest answers based on law.
Atty. Lilli Berbano Baculi is an associate attorney with Chua Tinsay & Vega, A Professional Legal Corporation (CTV) – a full service law firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Philippines. The information presented in this article is for general information only and is not, nor intended to be, formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail CTV for an in-person or phone consultation to discuss your particular situation and/or how their services may be retained at (619) 955-6277; (415) 495-8088; (916) 449-3923; firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information visit www.chuatinsayvega.com.