By Carlos A. Guevara, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS
For the past five years, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a lawful and incredibly successful program, has transformed the lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented youth who came to the United States as young children. President Trump’s decision to end DACA means that hundreds of thousands of young people are now relying on Congress to come up with a bipartisan solution in order to ensure that they are not thrust back into the shadows.
Shortly after the administration’s announcement, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum that explained how “winding down” DACA will work. Below is a summary of the key portions of that memorandum and how they impact DACA recipients:
- For those with DACA today, the announcement by the Trump administration did not immediately terminate their DACA status or work permit. However, the administration has instituted a plan to “wind down” DACA, which means that gradually DACA recipients will lose their status at the end of their unique expiration date listed on their work permits.
- DACA recipients who made initial and renewal DACA requests before September 5 will still have their requests adjudicated by DHS in the normal course. However, any initial DACA requests that were not received by DHS by September 5 will be rejected.
- IMPORTANT: If you are a DACA recipient whose DACA status and work permit expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 you may apply to renew your status, but you MUST apply on or before October 5, 2017. There is no indication that this administration will extend this month-long application window beyond October 5, so we strongly encourage eligible individuals to renew as soon as possible.
- The administration has indicated that DACA recipients whose status and work permit expire after March 5, 2018 will be unable to apply to renew.
- Absent congressional action or successful intervention by the courts, some DACA recipients will begin losing their protections from deportation and work authorization on March 6, 2018. DACA protections will continue to end depending on when an individual’s DACA status was conferred (or renewed).
- It’s likely that the first group of DACA recipients to lose their protection will be those whose applications were approved in March 2016. The last group of DACA recipients to lose their status will most likely be those who are eligible to, and successful in, renewing their DACA status before October 5, 2017 (see red text above).
Other Implications and Resources
In the past DACA recipients have been allowed to travel abroad under limited circumstances. The authority that allowed them to travel abroad, known as “Advance Parole,” has effectively terminated following the administration’s announcement on September 5. As of September 5, DHS will no longer approve Advance Parole applications for those who have DACA. If a DACA recipient had an application for this permission to travel abroad pending with DHS after the announcement, DHS has stated that it will administratively close those cases and refund application fees. However, in a recent call with community stakeholders, DHS indicated that it will honor Advance Parole for those DACA recipients who have already received approval to travel abroad so long as that permission is valid.
Stay tuned to UnidosUS for the latest developments on DACA, DREAM Act legislation, and other issues of critical concern to our community during these challenging times. For additional resources for DACA recipients, please see the list below:
- Informed Immigrant has FAQs and other resources for DACA recipients.
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center Advisory Note on what to know after DACA ends.
- American Immigration Council Practice Advisory on screening for immigration relief.
- National Immigration Law Center resource on DACA and Employment.
- Know Your Rights materials.
- For educators, Stanford Law School and the California Charter Schools Association have published this guide on legal obligations to provide education to undocumented students and actions schools can take to protect the educational rights of undocumented