Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

Court order affects some DACA work permit holders

Residents of California who have received work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program may be affected by court action that took place in Texas on Feb. 16, 2015. A federal court issued an injunction against the expansion of that program, and that nullified all three-year work permits that were sent out to DACA applicants after the injunction. Some permits were issued prior to the injunction but were returned. Because these were re-sent after the injunction, they are also invalid. DACA is a program that was formulated to provide undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. as children an opportunity to remain and work legally.

Those who received their three-year permits prior to the court action are able to continue to work under the terms of those documents. A two-year option, which was in place prior to the newer program, is still available to those whose three-year work permits were affected. Nearly 3,000 people were issued invalid permits, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has reminded those in possession of these documents that they must be returned no later than July 31, 2015. Failure to comply could reflect negatively during additional deferred action requests or other immigration-related proceedigns.

Deferred action options under the two-year rule are still available for those who meet the eligibility tests. These include age, education, time of residency, and criminal record facts. An individual who meets the guidelines must apply by providing documentation of this information along with the relevant USCIS forms.

An individual who considers applying under DACA may be concerned about the legal implications of coming forward as an undocumented resident. Further, the application process may be confusing, especially to someone whose English language skills are not strong. Legal assistance in evaluating the process and submitting the needed forms could be helpful in such a situation.

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