DACA Ending, Now What?

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, President Trump moved to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that began in 2012. You can read the formal announcement here. DACA protected nearly 800,000 undocumented children and young adults who were brought to the United States by their parents as children. It allowed these individuals to obtain work authorization and protection from deportation. If you or someone you know has protection under DACA it is imperative that you speak to a qualified immigration attorney about your case.

Renewals for Benefits Expiring before March 5, 2018

DACA will officially end on March 5, 2017 but you must act immediately if your work authorization and benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. If your benefits expire during this time period, you MUST submit your renewal application by October 5, 2017. Do not wait until the last minute to complete your application. It is best to complete your application and file it as soon as possible. If USCIS accepted your initial request or renewal request by September 5, 2017, USCIS will adjudicate those applications. If your application is approved, you will receive a renewal of your DACA and a new work authorization that will be valid for an additional two years.

Benefits Expiring after March 5, 2018

If your DACA benefits will expire any time after March 5, 2018, you will not be able to file for renewal. Once your benefits expire you will no longer be protected from deportation and you will not have permission to work in the United States. Your Social Security Number will remain valid but you will not be able to use it for employment purposes.  Unfortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will no longer accept any initial requests for DACA. That means that if you qualified for DACA but never applied in the past, you will not be eligible to apply at this time. If you fall into either of these categories you should speak to a qualified immigration attorney about other options that may be available to you.

Advanced Parole

DACA beneficiaries wishing to travel outside of the United States with advanced parole for humanitarian, education, or employment purposes are advised that there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to return to the United States. If you have a valid advance parole document and are in the United States, you should not travel outside the United States unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are a DACA beneficiary currently outside the United States on advanced parole, you should return to the United States as soon as possible and before the expiration of your advance parole document. USCIS will not accept any new applications for advanced parole for DACA beneficiaries.

What does the future hold?

The next six months will be extremely critical for current and former DACA beneficiaries. Congress will have to make a decision whether it will pass legislation to save those who had protection under DACA. The future is very uncertain at this time and we can only speculate as to what will happen if Congress does not pass any legislation by March 5, 2018.

If you have any questions about DACA, the termination of your benefits, or whether you may qualify for a different type of immigration relief call our offices at (330) 673-3444 or e-mail your questions to bgriffin@wwklaw.com. Our immigration attorney will be happy to answer your questions. Consultations are available in English and Spanish. Se habla español.