The End of DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a U.S. policy established by the Obama administration in 2012. It allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable 2-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for work and travel authorizations. About 800,000 people, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” were enrolled in DACA as of 2017.

While he was running for the presidency, Trump stated he intended to end the DACA on “day one” of his term. Today, September 8, 2017, marks day 231 of his presidency. Just days earlier, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the DACA program is being rescinded. Sessions claimed, among other false statements, that DACA-eligible individuals were lawbreakers who adversely impact the wages and employment of Americans. This was stated despite the fact that Dreamers were brought here as children, passed rigorous background checks to be considered for DACA, and contribute positively to the economy and our communities.

Sessions also stated that implementation would be suspended for 6 months. DACA status and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) that expire during the next 6 months will continue to be renewed. DACA recipients with work permits set to expire on or before March 5, 2018, will be able to apply for a 2-year renewal if their application is received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by October 5, 2017.

As of September 6, 2017, the very next day following the announcement, 15 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking to stop the rescission of DACA. There are also efforts in Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers. The situation is fluid and each day there may be news on DACA, efforts to stop the rescission, and steps politicians are taking to protect Dreamers. Be certain the source of your news is reliable.

To even be eligible for DACA, applicants must have arrived in the United States before age 16 and had to have lived in the country since June 15, 2007. They could not have been older than 30 years old when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012. DACA allows people who came to the country as children, and who were raised in American culture, to obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college, and secure jobs. In doing so, it allows them to pay income taxes, contribute to Social Security, and provide for themselves, their families, and communities a better future.

If Congress does not do anything to protect DACA recipients, nearly 300,000 people will begin to lose their status and be at risk for deportation, possibly to a country they do not know or even remember. More than 320,000 would lose their status and protections from January to August 2019.

If you think you will be affected by this change to policy, do not hesitate to call us. Our Chicago immigration attorneys here at Milla & Associates, LLC understand this may be an incredibly stressful and confusing time for you. We can offer you counsel and representation in whatever immigration situation you may be facing. If you are a Dreamer who is at risk, let us help. We offer complimentary initial case evaluations with no obligation, so we can answer your questions and you can get to know our firm before deciding on your legal advocate.

Contact us at (312) 702-1782 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.