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Immigration Update: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

DACA March 2017

Currently, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is still in operation. Indeed, none of the Executive Orders or DHS memos have eliminated it.  Applications are being accepted, and hopefully we will continue to still see application approvals. However, we do not know exactly how US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) currently processes DACA applications. It isn’t clear whether they are processing as usual, or if they are slowing down the processing and approvals to wait on some action by the President.

  • If you need to renew your DACA application, do so immediately. You can apply 150 days prior to expiration.
  • If you are applying for DACA for the first time, apply right away. It is very important to file the application as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that USCIS will accept or approve it.

It’s a real concern that, at some point, President Trump may issue an Executive Order eliminating the DACA program.  We believe the government wants to continue to protect DREAMers and young arrivals, but it will likely force Congress to enact laws through new legislation instead of continuing the executive policy.

  • If you are a DACA recipient and have “Advance Parole travel permission,” it is extremely risky to leave the U.S. While you are outside of the country, the President could potentially eliminate DACA and revoke existing travel permissions.  Do not travel unless absolutely necessary, and you are willing to accept the possibility that you may be denied re-entry into the U.S.  It is critical that you speak to an immigration attorney.
  • If you are a student, talk with your advisors about how the school plans to address any potential changes with DACA. Talk with your support systems, and make a back-up plan just in case DACA benefits are suspended.  College students, do not assume that you will lose your admission status or financial aid! Many schools and universities are working hard to support and protect its students. Importantly, please remember that you are not alone.  There are many advocacy groups that support you and want you to continue as a treasured part of our community.

Fighting for Immigration Policies

This is an unsettling time for many of us, and the Trump Administration’s fear tactics will create long-term consequences and deep-rooted trauma for our nation.  Please know that there are many in this country, and in our community, who want you part of it.  We are fighting for changes to these immigration policies. We will bring these concerns to our lawmakers, demanding that they do the right thing and implement laws that protect you.

Posted in: DACA, Immigration, Removal (Deportation)

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