You’ve likely heard a lot of rumblings about DACA in the news. At its core, it’s an immigration issue, but it seems to be taking on a life of its own these days as a political issue. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — something that President Obama enacted when he was in office, which allowed un-documented immigrants under the age of 16 to seek protection from being deported, according to CNN. They were able to get renewable two-year permits to live in the United States after going through a back-ground check.
In order to gain eligibility, applicants must have arrived here before reaching 16, living here since 2007. In addition, they had to be younger than 30 as of 2012, which is when the Department of Homeland Security created the policy.
After being enacted that year, approximately 800,000 people sought protection under the program, with about 700,000 maintaining active protections last fall. This is when President Trump announced the DACA program was ending. Why was this decision made and how does it affect you? We will do our best to answer those questions.
End of an Era
It’s no secret that conservatives have never really cared for DACA, so when Trump pledged to put a stop to it when in office yet didn’t do anything about it during the first portion of his first year at the helm, conservative states made threats to bring the program in front of a judge. Trump’s response was to announce the termination of the program. Those in opposition to the program felt that it encouraged illegal immigration. Trump had some good things to say about the basic premise of the program, claiming that many recipients had achieved great things while here, asking Congress to come up with an alternative.
March 5th is when permits will start expiring. However, permits that are still open will be honored within the two-year time frame. Current law does not allow for legal status for those in DACA. Members of DACA are not lawfully present right now in the U.S. with deferred removal. When their deferred action ceases to exist, their removal won’t be deferred any longer and they cannot seek lawful employment. Congress is the only entity with the clout to change the existing immigration laws.
Democrats want Congress to consider adopting the Dream Act, designed to convert DACA into a formal program offering those individuals the chance to become U.S. citizens within a particular time frame. The President wants any such bill looking to secure a permanent DACA be included with border security and other measures that discourage illegal immigration. He is pushing for elements such as asylum alterations, required worker verifications and stricter immigration enforcement methods.
Negotiations on this subject remain heated, with some bipartisan talks making minimal headway. You can learn more about DACA and get the answers to your questions at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You can also visit the Department of Homeland Security website to learn more.
Contact D&N Law Group in Irving TX
Contact us here at D&N Law Group if you have additional questions about DACA and how its ending affects you via a free consultation today. We have had extensive experience in DACA and DACA renewals.