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President Trump Gives Congress Six Months to Create Legislative Solution for DACA Holders

(Cleveland, Ohio – September 5, 2017)  Today, President Trump announced, via Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions, and the Department of Homeland Security, “The program known as DACA, that was effectuated under the Obama Administration, is being rescinded.”

This means, for the nearly 800,000 current DACA recipients, and those still wishing to obtain DACA protections:

  • USCIS will no longer process new applications for DACA that are received on or after September 6, 2017.
  • USCIS will continue to adjudicate properly filed applications for DACA and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) based on DACA received on or before September 5, 2017.
  • USCIS will adjudicate DACA renewals and EADs expiring on or before March 5, 2018 that USCIS receives on or before October 5, 2017. This means that those whose DACA status will expire before March 5, 2018 MUST file their DACA renewal by October 4, 2017.
  • USCIS will not terminate DACA and EADs currently in place, until expiration of their validity periods.
  • USCIS will not approve new or currently pending I-131 Advance Parole applications based in DACA – though USCIS will honor previously approved applications for Advance Parole. However, DHS will continue to review those returning with advance parole, and retains the authority to revoke or terminate advance parole documents at any time.
  • USCIS will not adjudicate and will “administratively close” all pending I-131 Advance Parole applications associated with the DACA program.  USCIS will refund all I-131 Advance Parole filing fees for currently pending I-131 applications.

What this means right now:

  • Those holding DACA status whose DACA status will expire before March 5, 2018 MUST file their DACA renewal application so it is received by USCIS by October 5, 2017.
  • USCIS will not share information on the parents of DACA holders from DACA applications with ICE or other enforcement agencies.
  • The grant of DACA status is still a case-by-case, discretionary decision. Therefore, those who are eligible to renew their DACA status should include equities and favorable discretionary factors in their DACA applications.  
  • DACA holders with approved advance parole should travel as soon as possible.
  • Those who have not yet filed an initial DACA application should no longer do so.

While this announcement says DACA has ceased as a program under the Department of Homeland Security, the six month “wind down” period effectively gives the U.S. Congress six months to create a legislative solution for undocumented childhood arrivals – assuming President Trump would sign the law.

“We remain confident that Congress will see the benefit of creating a legislative solution for the 800,000 DACA recipients, and others in the same situation” said Joseph Fungsang, immigration attorney with Margaret W. Wong & Associates, “but it’s really important that you show them how important you are to the USA, and why they should not terminate your DACA status.”

Margaret W. Wong, Esq., is an adjunct professor of law at Case Western Reserve University Law School and has been recognized as a National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Trailblazer. She enjoys a “Preeminent AV” rating by Martindale Hubbell. Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC is a national, full-service immigration  and criminal law firm with offices in Cleveland, Ohio, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis, Columbus, Detroit, and Raleigh.

Gordon Landefeld