Trump Administration Announces Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
Published: September 27, 2017
On September 5, 2017, the Trump
Administration announced the rescission of the Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Local immigration attorneys have
worked with the Commission on Human Rights to articulate what the
announcement means for persons with DACA, and what other
possibilities there are for obtaining status – available to some with
other undocumented immigrants.
The Memorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals
(DACA) can be found on the Department of Homeland Security website.
Implications of Trump decision on DACA
Based on what
is known so far, here is some direction for those who have DACA or were eligible
persons with DACA: Previously
issued work permits and DACA approvals will remain valid for their full
initial DACA requests: Pending
initial requests for DACA and related work permit applications will be
processed. No new initial DACA applications will be accepted after
- Pending DACA
renewal applications will be processed.
- New DACA
beneficiaries expiring between September 5, 2017 and
March 5, 2018 can file renewal applications. Renewals must
be accepted by DHS by October 5, 2017.
It is not yet known whether DHS will grant renewals for the full two-year
period or a shorter period.
parole applications: No
new DACA permit to travel (“advance parole”) applications will be approved. All
pending advance parole applications will be administratively closed and fees
will be returned.
- Current DACA
advance parole documents: Previously
approved advance parole documents will generally be honored, though DHS retains
the authority to deny admission and/or revoke or terminate parole where it
OTHER OPTIONS FOR DACA HOLDERS:
- Adjustment of Status for
DACA holders married to a US Citizen
A 2013 Court decision opened a door for persons with DACA who marry a US citizen to adjust their status in the US. This is limited to certain DACA holders without prior orders of deportation or other grounds for inadmissibility, and only after obtaining permission to travel under DACA.
Unfortunately, the Trump Administration is no longer issuing the permits to travel. Nonetheless, a lot of persons with DACA did get the travel permit (know as "advance parole") during the last 5 years. If they are married to a US citizen, they can still get a green card through a process called "Adjustment of Status," without a pardon and without leaving the country.
- Family Sponsorship through the Pardon Process
Even those persons with DACA who did not obtain a travel permit previously can still get a green card if they marry a US citizen (USC) by applying for a waiver known as a 1601A pardon. In March, 2013, the Obama Administration implemented a rule that has benefited many thousands of immigrants across the country. The new regulation allowed spouses of the USC's to apply for their waivers of the 10-year penalty for unlawful presence inside the US. In November of last year, President Obama expanded it to spouses and children of permanent residents. But because of long waits for most categories of family sponsorship, these rules primarily help those DACA holders with USC spouses.
Anyone eligible for a 1601A waiver should apply now as this process may soon get more difficult or even be eliminated altogether by the current administration. If you have DACA and you are otherwise eligible, first consult with a lawyer to confirm there is no problem returning.
- The U Visa for Crime Victims
The U visa can be used by any victim of a crime to apply for status with the Immigration Service if they can show they were harmed in a crime occurring in the United States and cooperate with the US authorities in the apprehension or prosecution of the perpetrator. The applicant must report the crime to the police and have suffered "substantial" harm as a result of the crime – the crime can be emotional or physical.
Unfortunately, there are very few other options for most undocumented immigrants here, which is why there are calls for a new, comprehensive immigration program.
A Solution for All DACA Holders
The best legislative option for those with DACA is the Dream Act of 2017. For more information, or to sign a petition in support of this law, go to The National Immigration Law Center and view the Summary and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.