As you all are well aware by now, the Trump Administration has announced the elimination of the DACA program. I wanted to give you all the basic facts regarding the rescission.
DACA was a program established by the Obama administration that provided undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of sixteen a period of deferred action and employment authorization. There are currently approximately 800,000 DACA recipients across the United States. Massachusetts alone is home to nearly 20,000 DACA-eligible residents and approximately 8,000 DACA recipients.
Under the DHS memo that officially rescinded the program, current DACA recipients may keep their work authorization and deferred action grants until they expire. USCIS will continue to adjudicate DACA applications that were accepted by USCIS as of September 5, 2017. Any requests received after September 5 will be rejected. USCIS will also accept DACA renewal applications until October 5, 2017 that are filed by DACA recipients whose benefits expire after September 5, 2017 but before March 5, 2018.
As for enforcement against DACA recipients once benefits expire, USCIS has stated that they will not proactively provide information to ICE, unless USCIS determines the individual is a threat to public safety or national security, or meets other criteria outlined in a 2011 policy memo. Note that this is not a new policy, but has been the criteria by which USCIS refers cases to ICE since 2011.
I’m also attaching some additional helpful resources if you are interested. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Further Note from Sarang Sekhavat, Federal Policy Director at MIRA Coalition
I just wanted to add a couple of things.
If anyone wants to see the 2011 policy that Mitch mentioned, you can find it at www.uscis.gov/nta. This is simply administrative policy and could be changed at any time (I’m frankly amazed they haven’t changed it already).
DHS has also said that they will not target for enforcement those whose DACA has expired unless they fall into one of their priorities. Unfortunately, their priorities do include those who entered the country without inspection, so that would include a large number of DACA beneficiaries.