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What happened to DACA?

  • Wade Christiansen
  • Mon, 09/11/2017 - 9:18pm

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced the creation of a program providing temporary work authorization for some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children.  This program was officially named "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" and became informally known as "DACA".    The purpose of the program was to temporarily permit employment for non-criminal illegal immigrants who were not otherwise authorized to work in the U.S., and to provide temporary protection from deportation, while Congress debated and prepared to enact legislation that would provide a permanent legal status for such individuals.  On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the termination of the DACA program, based on the argument that the DACA program was an unconstitutional exercise of the executive branch of government.  Today's blog will address some of the most common questions surrounding the rescission of the DACA program.

Can a DACA recepient still work legally?

Yes.  Anyone who holds a valid Employment Authorization Document granted through the DACA program may continue to work legally.  The Administration annunced that currently valid DACA grants will not be revoked or tereminated.

Will DACA recipients be deported?

Probably not.  Foreign nationals who have received a DACA grant maintain deferred action status until expiration of the DACA grant, and should not be targeted for deportation.  Rare instances have been reported of the initiation of deportation proceedings, but only under unusual circumstances that don't apply to most DACA recipients.  DACA recipients should avoid leaving the U.S. and trying to return to the U.S., and as always, should avoid any type of criminal activity.

Can I still apply for DACA?

No.  Applications filed after September 5, 2017 will be rejected.  

What will happen to my pending DACA application?

Initial DACA applications and renewal applications filed on or before September 5, 2017 will be accepted and adjudicated under the previous DACA rules.  Renewal applications filed on or before October 5, 2017 by DACA recipients whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 will be accepted, as long as the application is received on or before October 5, 2017.  

What should I do now?

The most important thing any DACA recipient can do is to immediately seek the advise of an experienced immigration lawyer, who can evaluate the available legal options for a permanent immigration solution. If you are a DACA recepient, it is critical that you fully understand your legal rights with regard to these changes to the DACA program.   Christiansen Law Firm has extensive experience handling family law immigration, including DACA applications.  For additional information about how the immigration attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm can guide you through the immigration law maze, contact our offices in San Antonio or Houston.


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