Today, September 5, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump Administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program and ordered an “orderly, lawful, wind down” of DACA. Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Elaine Duke, has already issued a memorandum rescinding the June off 2012 memorandum that created DACA and ordered a phase out of the program over the next six (6) months. The Trump Administration believes this process will limit disruption to current DACA beneficiaries while providing time for Congress to seek a legislative solution. The memo states the following:
- All those currently enrolled in DACA will be allowed to work until their employment authorization document (EAD) expires.
- Permits that expired by March 5, 2018 have one month to apply for their two-year renewal.
- All new and renewal applications received by DHS before Tuesday will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- New applications received after Tuesday will not be considered.
- No new advanced parole (I-131) documents will be approved. All pending travel document applications will be administratively closed and all associated fees will be refunded.
The DACA program was first establish in 2012 through executive order by President Obama. DACA protects nearly 800,000 individuals, known as “DREAMers” from deportation who were brought to the US by their parents and through no fault of their own. The program was never meant to be considered a legal pathway to citizenship nor an amnesty. Ninety-five percent (95%) of participants are either working or in school. The DREAMers also pay taxes, but yet are unable to receive government benefits. DREAMers contribute to our economy and society.
If you are a DREAMer, you should consult with an immigration attorney in our office immediately for possible pathways to legal solutions. We will continue to monitor the issue and update as more information becomes available.