New York, New York — Kerry Bretz, Partner, Bretz & Coven, LLP, says President Donald J. Trump’s decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will mean that more immigrant children will be deported, tearing them away from their families who have already established roots in this country.
On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that he will do away with the DACA program and ordered Congress to come up with legislation to replace the policy before it officially ends on March 5, 2018. The administration said the president’s decision will not immediately affect the approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who are currently protected by DACA. Some of these recipients who are currently protected under DACA will be allowed to stay in the program and keep their work permits until it expires. However, new applications for DACA will no longer be accepted and will be rejected. Those whose eligibility is set to expire will have until October 5, 2017 to renew their applications with the Department of Homeland Security, but only for those whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. Renewal applications received after October 5, 2017 will be rejected.
All new applications for advance parole will be rejected and those that are pending will be closed and refunded the filing fee. Current recipients of advance parole documents should consult an immigration attorney before traveling outside the U.S.
Unless DACA recipients pose a threat to national security or public safety, it is unlikely that they will be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), although this policy may change.
DACA, also known as the “Dreamers” program, was instituted by then-President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. The program protected those who entered the country before their 16th birthday and lived here continuously since June 15, 2007 from deportation. It allowed these individuals to live with family members who were already in the U.S., regardless if they entered the country legally.
Now that the program has ended, many DACA beneficiaries believe that they may be deported once they lose their protections. If Congress is unable to finalize a solution to address the immigration status of the “Dreamers” before the program ends, they may be subject to deportation and removal from this country.
“It is unfortunate that President Trump would allow DACA to end and turn away these children who are seeking a better life in this country,” Mr. Bretz says. “Many of these children came to the United States through no fault of their own, are assimilated to the U.S., getting an education here and will be contributing to our economic future. With DACA, they had some hope to continue doing that. However, now with Congress being charged with drafting new legislation to address the status of these ‘Dreamers,’ I am fearful that these young immigrants will no longer be protected. Anyone who is facing deportation or needs to renew their DACA eligibility should seek help from an immigration attorney immediately.”
For more information, call (212) 267-2555.