What You Need to Know
On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration moved forward with efforts to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA). Over the course of six months, the program will be phased out until it is completely eliminated. This does not mean that DACA is done right now. The administration claims it will continue to renew permits for the next 6 months until the DACA program stops. According to ABC News, DACA recipients will lose their status on March 5, 2018. This means:
- If your status expires between now and March 5, 2018, you can still file for a new 2-year permit and your application will still be processed. You must file before October 5, 2017 to have the application considered.
- Any DACA applications processed between now and March 5, 2018, will allow for those with DACA to stay in the United States legally for another 2 years.
- Your DACA status will not be revoked before it expires. If it is, contact an immigration attorney immediately.
- Any applications received before the September 5, 2017 statement will still be processed.
If your DACA status expires on or after March 6, 2018, then you will no longer receive protection under DACA. This means that you may not be able to work legally within the U.S. once your DACA expires.
Will I Be Deported if My DACA Status Has Expired?
According to an anonymous source from the Department of Homeland Security, ICE will consider deporting former/expired DACA recipients on a "case-by-case" basis. The same source says that "there will be no formal guidance that former DACA recipients are not eligible for deportation." Simply put, ICE officers will have discretion to enact deportation procedures as they see fit.
DACA and U.S. Congress
It is expected for Congress to address the new action. While the "Travel Ban" and items like Texas's SB 4 have been frozen, the Republican Congress is not expected to extend benefits for DACA recipients. The New York Times notes notes that other similar protections have been blocked by the Republicans historically. However, House Speaker Paul Ryan thinks that the issue of DACA is "something that Congress has to fix," indicating that the issue could come under debate for the legislative bodies. What will be done has yet to be determined, but could be a completely new piece of legislation designed to replace DACA. Additionally, it seems that the Texas government could be the most unsympathetic to those with DACA status. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spearheaded a possible lawsuit against the U.S. government, threatening legal action if DACA was not revoked. If you are a DACA recipient, don't panic. Continue to conduct yourself in the exemplary manner that characterizes the Dreamers. While this action has been put forth by the U.S. Government, there are many people that are fighting on your behalf and will continue fighting for as long as it take. If you need help or more explanation during these times, don't be afraid to contact our office.