What we know and can do now (DACA) - Post Election
Via Educators For Fair Consideration:
DACA will likely end once Trump becomes President
President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) when he becomes President. However, he will not become President until he is inaugurated on January 20, 2017, so meanwhile DACA will remain in place and USCIS will continue processing both initial and renewal DACA requests.
We do not know when or how the Trump administration will end the DACA program. It could end the program effective immediately and instantly revoke work permits, or it could allow current DACA recipients to keep their work permits until they expire but not renew them.
Initial DACA applications should not be submitted
We do not recommend that someone apply for DACA as a first-time applicant, since first-time DACA applications are not likely to be processed before the next administration takes office and new applicants may be unnecessarily be exposing themselves to the Department of Homeland Security.
Renewal DACA applications should be submitted (if within 180 days of expiration)
Since existing DACA recipients are already known to the government, renewal applications will not pose new or additional risks to recipients. If the Trump administration allows DACA recipients to keep their work permits, then a new DACA renewal would mean a work permit for nearly two more years.
However, given current DACA processing times, there is a possibility that a new DACA renewal application may not be approved before the new administration takes office, in which case the paid application fee would most likely not be returned.
Please note: Beginning December 23, 2016, the DACA renewal fee will increase to $495.
DACA recipients should consider Advance Parole (Travel Abroad) with caution
DACA recipients who last entered the U.S. without inspection (without permission) could benefit later in life if they successfully depart the U.S. and return with Advance Parole, particularly through a petition filed by a U.S. Citizen parent, spouse or adult child. There could still be time for such travel to be completed before the new administration takes office (January 20, 2017), but prospective travelers should be properly screened before leaving the U.S. to ensure they are likely to be able to re-enter.
Unfortunately, it could be risky for DACA recipients to be physically outside the U.S. (even with Advance Parole) on or after January 20, 2017. Therefore, we recommend that DACA recipients who are abroad now with Advance Parole (or those who plan to be) get legal advice about whether to change their travel plans.
WHAT OUR COMMUNITY CAN DO NOW
Get screened for other immigration options
Many undocumented immigrants may be eligible for one or more existing immigration options. In fact, a recent study found that 14.3% of DACA recipients are eligible for another form of immigration relief.
For more information contact Aspiring Americans at 405-360-1200 or check out more from E4FC here.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
You or your students may qualify for immigration relief through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
On June 15, 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security announced a program for certain undocumented youth called DACA. Persons granted DACA are protected from deportation for two years (subject to renewal) and provided with a work authorization permit. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the DACA application fee is $465. The following are eligibility requirements for applicants:
- Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- At least 15 years old unless they are in immigration court or are under an order to depart the country
- Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday
- Have lived in the US continuously since June 15, 2007
- Entered illegally before June 15, 2012 or immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
- Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making their DACA application
- Is currently attending school, has a high school degree or General Education Development (GED) certificate, or is a honorably discharged veteran of the US Armed Forces or Coast Guard
- Has not been convicted of certain crimes
If you are an educator, you might want to familiarize yourself with the DACA application process so you can guide your students to the appropriate resources. Do not provide legal advice for your students and encourage any minor students to work with a parent or guardian on the application. For legal advice concerning DACA applications, please contact our Executive Director, Akash Patel.
Free screening tools are available to determine eligibility for DACA.