On June 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration effectuated an executive order that created the DACA program. On September 4, 2017, Attorney General Sessions sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stating that he determined that DACA was without proper statutory authority because it was effectuated through executive order that was meant to circumvent immigration laws. The very next day, AG Sessions announced that the Trump Administration would be terminating the program and rescind the June 15, 2012 memo.
What Does This Mean?
By rescinding DACA, AG Sessions terminated the program. He did instruct DHS, however, to continue to decide certain requests for DACA and associated applications. Below are the details of how AG Sessions instructed DHS to stop the program.
- DHS will continue to decide properly filed DACA initial requests and EAD requests that have been accepted by DHS as of June 15, 2012.
- This means that if your initial application for DACA was received by DHS by June 15, 2012, DHS will continue processing your application and EAD (work permit).
- DHS will reject any initial DACA requests not received by June 15, 2017.
- This means that unless DHS has received your initial DACA request by June 15. 2017, it will be rejected and returned to you.
- If your DACA expires on or before March 5, 2018, DHS will continue to decide and receive all DACA renewal requests and EADs up until October 5, 2017.
- This means that if your DACA expires on or before March 5, 2018 and you renew by October 5, 2017, DHS will still accept and decide your application and EAD request. If your current DACA expires after March 5, 2018, DHS will most likely not accept or renew you DACA request.
- DHS will not terminate current DACA or revoke EADs.
- This means that DACA is effect and will continue to be valid until the date on your EAD.
- DHS will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole.
- This means that DHS will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications associated with the DACA program and will refund all fees. This also means that any currently approved Form I-131 applications for advance parole are still valid for the period granted.
Also, please remember that if your DACA has expired and it has been over a year since it was valid, if you reapply, your application will be treated as an initial (NOT renewal) DACA request. At this time, DHS is not accepting any initial DACA requests.
It is always smart to contact an immigration attorney if you have questions about this new process.