On September 5, 2017, President Trump issued a memo directing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to formally initiate a phase-out and eventual end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within the next two and a half years. This move will impact about 800,000 young residents of the United States. In these uncertain times, it is especially important to remember that everyone in this country, both citizens and noncitizens alike, has constitutional rights. If you or someone you love has been affected, it is best to learn your rights and seek the help you may need to prepare and defend yourself. Landerholm Immigration is ready to fight for your rights, so call us at (510) 488-1020 today. Please don’t hesitate. A Brief Background on DACA DACA is the Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, known as “dreamers,” who entered the United States illegally before the age of sixteen. In addition to legal protection, dreamers are granted certain benefits that Congress had not otherwise acted to provide by law. In June of 2017, Texas and several other states sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asserting that the 2012 memorandum that established DACA is unlawful. It stated that if the DHS does not rescind the DACA memo by September 5, 2017, the States would seek to further challenge DACA in court. The Rescission Memo On September 5, 2017, in response to the State’s letter, President Trump issued a DACA rescission memo. Here is a brief list of the changes that will affect DACA recipients. As of September 5, 2017, the DHS will:
- Reject any new DACA applications.
- Review only pending requests that have already been properly filed.
- Honor the status of current DACA grantees until their set expiration date.
- Not approve any new advance parole applications. Advance parole is the ability of DACA recipients to travel outside of the country.
- Close all pending advance parole applications filed under DACA standards and refund fees paid by the applicant.
- Not rescind any advance parole applications already granted. However, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney regarding the risks associated with international travel.
- Continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time.
Additionally, it is important to note that if you are a DACA grantee whose status will expire between now and March 5, 2018, then you are eligible to apply for a renewal. This must be received and accepted by October 5, 2017. Work Permits If you are a DACA recipient with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), known as a work permit, your EAD will remain valid until its set expiration or until the government terminates your DACA status. Driver’s Licenses Driver’s license eligibility depends on your state of residence. California affords eligibility for driving privileges to all residents, regardless of immigration status. If your DACA status is still valid, you can still apply for a driver’s license or state identification card. However, certain driver’s licenses will expire upon the expiration of your work permit. Therefore, it is essential to speak with an experienced attorney to ensure you have or apply for the proper license. Criminal Issues and Other Forms of Immigration Relief Alternatively, you may be eligible for other forms of immigration relief such as a work visa or green card. An experienced immigration attorney can help you find and apply for these options. Further, be aware of encountering any criminal issues with the law. Any criminal arrest, charge, or conviction puts you at further risk of deportation so avoid this at all costs, and again–consult an expert immigration attorney that you trust. And finally, know your rights! As an immigrant, there are steps you can take now to prepare and to protect yourself. If you have current DACA or undocumented status, you should consult with a qualified immigration attorney as soon as possible. At Landerholm Immigration we understand that this is a difficult and scary time for you and your family. We have the experience and compassion to work with you to help determine your rights, eligibility for another form of immigration relief, and to check if any of your family members can adjust their status or apply for citizenship. Contact us today at (510) 756-4468 and let us help you.