The End of the DACA Program: What Dreamers Need to Know
On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since 2012, this Obama-era program has provided a means for young undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to obtain work permits, driver’s licenses and renewable deportation deferments.
The end of the DACA program, however, will halt access to such privileges, leaving about 800,000 participants (known as Dreamers) with an uncertain future in the U.S.
Clarifying the impacts of this major immigration policy change, the following provides important answers regarding the end of the DACA program and what that means for Dreamers.
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Can I Still File a DACA Application?
Initial DACA applications are NOT being accepted at this time. That means that, if you are not already a DACA recipient, you can no longer apply to be part of the program.
If you are currently a DACA recipient, you have until October 5, 2017 to submit a work permit renewal as long as your permit expires before March 5, 2018. These renewals are NOT available for Dreamers who have work permits expiring on or after March 6, 2018.
What Will Happen to My Pending DACA application?
If you filed an initial DACA application prior to Sept. 5, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will still process your application in the standard manner.
What Does the End of DACA Mean for My Current DACA Work Permit?
If you currently hold a valid DACA work permit, you have the following rights until your permit expires:
- The right to keep working lawfully for your employer
- The right to not disclose that you are a DACA recipient to your employer
Additionally, you are NOT obligated to inform your employer that DACA has ended.
Am I Going to Be Deported?
The Trump Administration has made it clear that any undocumented immigrant can be targeted for deportation. If you are a Dreamer or an undocumented foreign national, it’s crucial that you contact a Los Angeles immigration lawyer at Hanlon Law Group, P.C. to find out more about your options for securing legal status in the U.S. to avoid deportation.
This is particularly true for those who have been accused of misdemeanor and/or felony crimes, as criminal convictions can automatically subject you to deportation hearings and/or limit (or eliminate) your options for remaining in the U.S. legally.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights & Status Now that DACA Has Ended?
The single best thing you can do to protect yourself in the post-DACA era is to contact and retain an attorney at Hanlon Law Group, who can help you:
- Understand your options
- Navigate the complicated road ahead
- Protect your rights and interests while helping you achieve the immigration status change (and/or other objectives) needed.
Additional steps you can take on your own to protect your rights and status in the U.S. include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
- Keep your immigration (and other personal) documents organized in a secure, accessible place.
- Make a plan with your loved ones for what to do if any of you are stopped, questioned or arrested by an Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer.
- Remain silent and ask for a lawyer if you are stopped and questioned by an ICE officer.
- Ask to see a warrant if an ICE officer requests to search you and/or your property.
- Call Hanlon Law Group, P.C. immediately if you or a loved one is detailed by an ICE officer.
Get the Answers & Advocacy You Need: Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
A Los Angeles immigration lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. is ready to meet with you, advise you of your immigration options and advocate your rights as you move forward.
Call (866) 227-5527 or email our firm for a free, confidential, no obligations consultation. This one meeting can make a big difference in your immigration case, as well as in your future in the U.S.
From Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world. We are proud to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.