Deferred Action for Childhoood Arrivals, better known as “DACA” is an executive action done by President Obama that provides a work permit and temporary status to people who were brought to the U.S. as children and stayed illegally. However, many who are in this status, filing to renew DACA or were thinking of applying have many concerns that we want to address. At this time, DACA recipients are not being targeted for deportation, but information is minimal until January 21, 2017.
Should I apply for DACA?
DACA applications take about 90-120 days to adjudicate from the time they are submitted to Immigration. It is likely that new applications will not be adjudicated until AFTER January, 2017 and it may be that the program no longer exists. If that becomes the case, the applicant would receive no benefit.
Should I renew my DACA?
Yes. At this time, those people who already have DACA status are known. It is unclear whether Trump’s Administration would terminate grants of DACA, but renewing would not carry a risk. At most, the administration would not permit a renewal. Also, renewals for DACA are adjudicated more quickly than an initial application.
Should I travel on Advance Parole?
Applications for Advance Parole take about 90 days to adjudicate. If filed now, the decision would not be made until February, 2017, unless they were for an emergency situation. Advance Parole is helpful to those in DACA status since, after one enters, you may be eligible for a green card in the future. It is recommended that those who are currently in DACA status file for Advance Parole now, however, you should ALWAYS consult with your attorney or legal representative before you travel, even after a grant of advance parole.
Am I safe?
The Trump Administration has not clearly outlined what would happen to anyone in DACA status or those who meet the requirements, so much is still unclear. However, the positive news is that New York and many other states have listed themselves at “Sanctuary Cities”. Basically, this means that if you violated a Federal Immigration Law, the person will not be reported to the authorities for deportation. This means that anyone who is illegal will not necessarily be reported to ICE. The exception exists for certain serious crimes and Federal Authorities with a warrant.
What do I do now?
For those looking to apply for DACA or who are already in DACA status should immediately consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss their options.