On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it is officially ending the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, with a six-month grace period. While many people are undoubtedly concerned about the President’s decision, it is important to be aware of the precise changes that will ensue and of what will NOT change after the phase-out of the policy.
What will change?
- No new DACA applications will be accepted. Effective immediately, the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services will no longer accept new applications.
- Advance parole to travel abroad is no longer available. As of September 5, USCIS will no longer grant advance parole for DACA recipients. This includes individuals who had previously applied for but had not yet been granted advance parole. As advance parole is a common method for DACA recipients to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, its immediate elimination is likely to create additional complications for your case. Therefore, if you have a pending application for advance parole, please contact our office immediately. Pollack, Pollack, Isaac, and DeCicco, LLP has expertise in a variety of immigration-related issues and can evaluate with you the best way forward for your case. It is also very important to contact us even if you have already received advance parole but have not yet traveled. This is because while previous grants of advance parole will remain valid, the Customs & Border Protection, a separate agency within the Department of Homeland Security, retains the ultimate authority to admit or parole an individual into the United States.
- DACA and work permits that expire after March 5, 2018 CANNOT be renewed. Only individuals with expiration dates that occur between now and March 5, 2018 will be able to apply one more time for a two-year renewal.
What will not change?
- Prior grants of DACA will remain valid until expiration. To determine expiration date, take a look at your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- Pending applications for DACA will continue to be processed.
- DACA and work permits that expire between now and March 5, 2018, must be renewed by October 5, 2017. Individuals whose deferred action expires within the next six months, will be able to apply for one more two-year renewal. As previously mentioned, if your expiration date is after 3/5/18, you will not be able to renew your DACA and work permits.
Given the actions of the Trump Administration, many immigrants are understandably anxious that the information they provided the government will now be used against them to deport them or their family members. Despite the above changes, there is no indication that the government has changed its policy with respect to using identifying information provided during the DACA application process. In general, as was the case previously, USCIS will only refer cases to Immigration & Customs Enforcement in specified circumstances including threats to public safety. DACA recipients should not panic about the prospect of deportation solely on the grounds of the recent changes. An experienced immigration attorney can assist you in evaluating whether you may be eligible for other relief when the program is finally phased out.
Contact Our New York DACA Lawyers for Legal Help Today
Immigration law is a constantly changing field. Pollack, Pollack, Isaac, and DeCicco, LLP has extensive experience navigating these changes to correctly advise our clients and protect their interests. We will continue to advise of any changes still to come on the issue, including, among other possibilities, potential action by Congress in this regard.
For more information on DACA or to speak with our New York DACA lawyers, please contact us online or call our firm at 212-203-4795.
Read the latest DACA update from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at https://www.uscis.gov/daca2017.