On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within 6 months. This impacts almost 800,000 young people who entered the U.S. before age 16 who had temporary protection from deportation and work authorization.
According to President Trump, it is up to Congress to act and pass legislation to help these so-called "Dreamers." While Congress may act and pass a permanent protection for Dreamers, here is what you need to know right now:
- No new DACA applications may be accepted. If you do not have DACA or a DACA application pending, you may no longer apply. The program has been terminated and no new applications will be accepted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Renewal applications will be accepted until October 5, 2017. If you currently have DACA and it is due to expire on or before March 5, 2018, you may apply for a 2-year renewal, but your application must be received by USCIS on or before October 5, 2017.
- If your DACA expires on or after March 5, 2018, you are not eligible for an extension. Your DACA, work authorization, and protection from deportation will expire on the date shown on your DACA approval notice and work permit.
- Pending DACA applications received at USCIS on or before September 5, 2016 will continue to be processed. This means that you get two years in DACA status and work authorization.
- If you have DACA and have a valid Advance Parole Document for Travel, you may be able to travel before the document expires. However, even with a valid travel document, CBP can still refuse to let you in. Before you travel, speak to a qualified immigration lawyer.
- USCIS will no longer grant travel permission through Advance Parole. USCIS will no longer process or approve applications for advance parole for DACA recipients. If you have an application for DACA-based advance parole pending as of September 5, 2017, USCIS will close the application and return the filing fees to you.
- Know that your DACA can be terminated at any time. Even with valid DACA and a valid work permit, the government can terminate your DACA and work permit at any time if it believes you are no longer eligible or for any other reason.
- Speak to an immigration attorney who can provide you with guidance on your status. If you cannot afford a private attorney, there are nonprofit organizations that can help. Contact your local bar association or law school for assistance.
- Do Not Talk to a Notario. Notarios are not lawyers and are not trained to fully understand the complex U.S. immigration system. Some notarios will take your money and give you bad advice. Protect yourself and your family by trusting a qualified immigration lawyer with your legal decisions.
- Stay hopeful! Do not give up. There are many organizations and individuals who support Dreamers. There are lawsuits already pending to ensure protection for Dreamers. Congress can pass legislation to help Dreamers. There are at least four bills already introduced in Congress.
Some resources for Dreamers:
- America's Voice, a coalition of progressive, faith-based, labor, civil rights, and grassroots groups, networks, and leaders working to help undocumented immigrants.
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the premiere voluntary bar association of immigration lawyers in the United States and in the global setting.
- Make the Road, a NYC-based not-for-profit, membership-led organization providing organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.
- NY Immigration Coalition (NYIC), composed of 200 organizations, fostering immigrant community leadership and civic engagement.
- United We Dream, the largest national immigrant youth-led organization fighting for relief & fair treatment for all undocumented immigrants.
Rasoulpour Torregoza stands with Dreamers! If you are affected by this development and have some questions, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for up-to-date immigration news.
Rasoulpour Torregoza is the law firm for immigrants, by immigrants. We are founded on the motto of LegalEase: we do away with the legal jargon and make law easy to understand, so you can focus on what’s important to you – going for your American Dream.
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