In case you missed it, on Tuesday, September 5th US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the DACA program. This has spurred protests and outrage toward the latest immigration decision made during President Trump’s administration. With this has come a new wave of panic from those protected under the program, as Trump’s presidency has already given rise to the number of immigrant arrests.
What is DACA?
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowed recipients to defer deportation for two years while legally attending school and working in the country. After two years, DACA could be renewed for another two years pending a renewal application. The program did not, however, give recipients a path to become US citizens or even legal permanent residents.
DACA protected undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children. There were several requirements for the program, some of which include entering the country before the age of 16, and being no older than 30 as of June 15, 2007, when the policy began. Recipients are referred to as Dreamers, a name that stuck from the proposed but unpassed DREAM Act in 2001 that offered legal status for those who attended college or joined the military.
Why is DACA Being Repealed?
Earlier this summer, ten state attorney generals presented an ultimatum to President Trump to repeal the program, or to face a legal challenge from the attorney generals. While immigration rights activists called for the White House to call the bluff on the deadline, the Trump administration deemed the program “unconstitutional and something they could not defend in court.”
What Does this Mean for the Future?
- New and renewal DACA applications received as of September 5th will be processed as usual.
- New applications will no longer be accepted, but those whose DACA expires between now and March 5th, 2018 can still apply to renew by October 5th, 2017.
- Current DACA recipients will not lose their status; it will remain in effect for the remainder of the two years.
- ICE has stated they will not target DACA recipients, but after the two-year period expires, recipients will be regarded as any other undocumented immigrant and subject to deportation.
- There is currently no plan in place if Congress does not act after Trump’s six-month delay for ending DACA
At Yevoli & Malayev, we understand that this news can bring fear and confusion for you and your family. We want you to be informed as possible, and to know that the loss of the DACA program does not mean the end of your American Dream. There may be other immigration options available to you. Learn more about these options by contacting Yevoli & Malayev (212) 634-6322 and let our expertise be your guide through this latest wave of immigration news.
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