President Trump has ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known as DACA program, which granted work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children.
The White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months giving Congress time to pass a replacement, possibly allowing “Dreamers” (DACA recipients) to adjust, or so some now hope.
Thus, effective September 5, 2017, Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
- Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017.
- Will reject all DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after September 5, 2017.
- Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted as of October 5, 2017.
- Will reject all DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed outside of the parameters specified above.
- Will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
- Will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. Notwithstanding the continued validity of advance parole approvals previously granted, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will—of course—retain the authority it has always had and exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border and the eligibility of such persons for parole. Further, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will—of course—retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
- Will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
- Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action for any reason, at any time, with or without notice.
In summary, all existing EADs will remain valid until their expiration, DACA recipients can apply to renew up until October 5, 2017, DHS will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke EAD’s solely based on the new directive for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
DHS stated online that its data files “will not be proactively provided” to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The two immigration enforcement agencies will remain able, however, as they are now, to access this data in criminal cases.
But DHS said that its policy of confidentiality “may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice,” and that even the temporary promise of confidentiality “may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law.”
No formal guarantee was offered that former DACA recipients are not eligible for deportation, and ICE officers in the field who encounter them will be making a case-by-case judgment as to whether to arrest that individual and process them for deportation.