In an effort to motivate Congress to finally enact major immigration reform President Trump has officially decided to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) The announcement calls for a “rolling back” of DACA, phasing it out within the next six months. The program will officially end on March 15, 2018. This does not mean, however, that people should panic. Instead, this could result in a very positive situation for those who have benefited from DACA and perhaps others as well.
How Does This Affect Me?
As of September 5, 2017, no new DACA applications will be accepted. Pending applications for first time applicants as well as renewal applicants will be processed. 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.
No new DACA advance parole applications will be approved. All pending advance parole applications will be administratively closed and fees will be returned. 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 deems appropriate.
If your grant of deferred action will expire on or before March 5 you must renew now. At the very least, the renewal will allow you to rest assured until the permanent solution has been reached.
What Other Options Do I Have?
We are optimistic that Congress will enact legislation to address the situation and create a permanent solution to what former President Obama called a “temporary fix”.
Now that Congress has been mandated to act, of “do its job” as President Trump tweeted, we envision DACA being made into law or better yet, something completely new. The six month deadline, while understandably frightening to many, is inspiring to us because we believe that an agreement will be reached. This is an opportunity that could benefit millions of people in a way that DACA never would. You too should be hopeful.
Will I Be Deported?
It is impossible to predict the outcome for every single person who holds DACA because everyone is in a different situation. Having said that, at Wilner & O’Reilly we firmly believe that a mass deportation of DACA recipients is quite simply not possible, and that Congress will act to prevent something like this from ever taking place.
However, some individuals may be placed in removal (“deportation”) proceedings because of other reasons or while waiting for legislation to be passed. We have highly experienced attorneys who specialize in deportation cases ready to fight your case and defend you. And, the fact that you may be placed into removal proceedings doesn’t mean that you will be deported. It might even mean you obtain your lawful permanent residency through other means.
Now is not the time to panic. If you meet the qualifications to renew DACA, you should do so immediately. If you are not eligible to renew we believe that within the next six months that youwill be provided with an incredible opportunity.. When one door closes, another door opens.
At Wilner & O’Reilly, we have years of experience in immigration law. We have seen multiple programs and laws come and go, and have seen how things change and the inevitable options that are created after such changes. We hope that everyone affected by this change will remain positive and push for a permanent and lasting positive solution through the legislative process. Whether you want to renew DACA, start a different type of immigration application, fear that you could be a target for deportation, or simply want to discuss your case with a qualified professional, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.