On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be ending. This impacts almost 800,000 young people who entered the U.S. before age 16 who had temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. While Congress may act and pass a permanent protection for Dreamers, here is what you need to know right now:
- If You Do Not Have DACA or a DACA Application Pending. You cannot apply. The program has been terminated and new applications are no longer being accepted by USCIS.
- If You Have DACA That Expires on or Before March 5, 2018. If you have DACA and a work permit that expires on or before March 5, 2018, you can apply for a 2-year renewal, but your application must be received on or before October 5, 2017.
- If You Have DACA That Expires After March 5, 2018. If your DACA and work permit expire after March 5, 2018, you are not eligible for an extension and your DACA, work authorization, and protection from deportation will expire on the date shown on your DACA approval notice and work permit.
- If You Have a DACA Application Pending. If you have a DACA application that was received at USCIS on or before September 5, 2017, your application will continue to be processed.
- If You Have DACA and a Valid Advance Parole Travel Document. If you have DACA and have a currently valid advance parole document, you may still use the document to travel and return to the U.S. as long as you return 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.
- If You Have an Advance Parole Travel Document Application Pending. 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.
- 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.
- Talk to a Lawyer. Talk to an immigration lawyer as soon as possible. You may be eligible for another type of status. Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) report that up to 30% of people screened for DACA were eligible for something better and more permanent. Before making any decisions which could impact your future status, speak to a lawyer.
- 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.
- Don't Give Up. AILA stands with Dreamers and we are fighting for you. Congress can pass a bill to offer a permanent way for those with DACA to stay in the United States. Tell Congress to stand up for Dreamers!
AILA (The American Immigration Lawyers Association) is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.