Trump Administration Rescinds DACA Program

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced it will eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months, and urged Congress to produce a solution for those covered by the program. The program protects about 800,000 young immigrants who were brought into the United States as children.

The program was created in 2012 by the Obama administration to allow young people brought to this country illegally by their parents as children to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study and obtain driver’s licenses. DACA applicants had to be younger than 31 years old when the program began, prove that they had lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007, and that they had arrived in the United States before the age of 16. Those applying for DACA had to show that they had no criminal records.

This September 5th memorandum on the rescission of DACA states:

  • If an individual does not have DACA or a DACA application pending, they cannot apply. The program has been terminated and new applications are no longer being accepted by USCIS.
  • If an individual has DACA status that expires on or before March 5, 2018, they can apply for a 2-year renewal, but the application must be received on or before October 5, 2017.
  • If an individual’s DACA status and work permit expire after March 5, 2018, they are not eligible for an extension and their DACA status, work authorization, and protection from deportation should expire on the date shown on their DACA approval notice and work permit.
  • If an individual has a DACA application that was received by USCIS on or before September 5, 2017, the application will continue to be processed.
  • If an individual has DACA status and currently has a valid advance parole document, they may still use the document to travel and return to the United States as long as they return BEFORE the document expires. However, even with a valid travel document, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can still refuse to let them re-enter the country.
  • If an individual has an application for DACA-based advance parole pending as of September 5, 2017, USCIS will close the application and return their filing fees.
  • Even with valid DACA status and a valid work permit, the government can terminate an individual’s DACA status and work permit at any time if it believes they are no longer eligible or for any other reason.

The Trump administration made clear that before the final months of DACA’s expiration, if Congress does not act, then people formerly protected will no longer have work authorization, and his or her deportation will no longer be deferred. This does not mean that an individual with expired DACA benefits will be automatically deported by ICE but it does mean that the individual will no longer be protected from deportation. The administration has given Congress six months to make a decision on an issue that it has not been able to make in 16 years.

For a comprehensive review over the effects of DACA and the program’s rescission, please follow this article: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/05/politics/daca-trump-congress/index.html.

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