In an effort to solve one piece of the complex problem of illegal immigration in the United States, a program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was enacted in 2012. The program aimed to assist those individuals who came to the U.S. as children by allowing them to obtain legal work authorization and defer any removal actions for a 24 month renewable timeframe.
At the time, DACA was praised by many for being a shining path to bring many so-called Dreamers out of the long shadows cast by their illegal immigrant status. While some Dreamers worried about making their identities and whereabouts known to government immigration officials, the program grew to include nearly 800,000 Dreamers.
Today, the fate of the 690,000 currently enrolled DACA participants is uncertain as President Trump and his administration recently announced plans to discontinue the program. In the wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions public announcement on DACA in which he called the program unconstitutional, Dreamers and those who know, love and support them have been left in a state of panic, shock and confusion.
The Current State Of DACA
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is no longer accepting any new DACA applications.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept renewal DACA applications through Oct. 4.
- The first DACA enrollees to be dropped from the program are those whose benefits expire this coming March.
- Once dropped from DACA, dreamers will effectively have their work permits revoked and any protections against deportation.
What Happens Next?
The vast majority of Dreamers do not ever remember calling any other country home and, while President Trump has called on members of Congress to put forth and pass a plan to effectively save the Dreamers form being deported, partisan politics may derail the passage of any plan.
Current DACA enrollees can turn to an immigration attorney for assistance. An attorney can answer questions, provide possible options related to adjusting your legal status and potentially obtaining a Green Card and provide the strong legal advocacy you need during this time of great uncertainty.