President Trump recently decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which created temporary protections from deportation for DREAMers. I strongly opposed the decision to end this program which enjoys broad support across the country. I am seeking a legislative solution in Congress to make the program permanent, including co-sponsoring and signing a discharge petition to force a vote on the bipartisan DREAM Act.
The Administration’s decision affects over 12,000 Virginians who, thanks to DACA, previously received legal protection and legal status. While I will continue working to resolve this situation in Congress, in the meantime, it is important for Virginians to understand how they might be affected.
I have compiled resources to help explain these changes. Most important is the October 5 deadline for application to renew DACA status. A Spanish-language version of this guide is available on my website here.
I Have DACA: How Does the President’s Decision Affect Me?
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has rescinded the memorandum which established the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” policy, otherwise known as “DACA” in 2012. This rescission changes the rules on acceptance and processing of DACA-related applications. Since this policy is not formally coded as immigration law, it can be terminated or amended by the Executive Branch of the United States Government, headed by the President. President Trump and Acting Secretary Duke have created a “wind-down” mechanism to end the program, putting many DACA recipients in limbo. This guide aims to answer basic questions about the near-future of DACA as outlined by the Trump Administration.
It’s my first time applying. Can I still apply for DACA?
No, applications for initial consideration are no longer being considered. The last date to submit an application was September 5, 2017.
My current status is expiring soon. Can I submit an application to renew my DACA status?
If your status expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, you may submit a renewal application. Your application must be accepted no later than October 5, 2017. If you have submitted your application prior to this date, it will be processed accordingly. Applications accepted after October 5, 2017 will be rejected. If your renewal period does not fall in this time frame, you cannot renew your status.
My current status and work authorization expires after March 5, 2018. Am I still eligible to renew?
No. The Department has stated that it will reject such renewals.
I currently have a valid DACA status. Does this change to the policy mean that I automatically lose DACA?
No. If you have been previously given a status, this rescission does not impact your remaining validity.
I would like to travel outside of the United States as a DACA recipient. Can I apply for a travel document?
No. The Department is not accepting requests for advance parole. Current travel documents that are valid may be used for travel, but the Department has made it clear that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will decide on the document holder’s admissibility.
Before any travel outside of the United States, speak to an attorney.
I have a travel document application pending (Form I-131). When should I receive my travel document?
Documents for DACA-related cases will no longer be furnished. Advanced Parolee applications under DACA will be closed, and funds paid will be refunded.
Is there a publicly available copy of the memorandum’s rescission? Where can I find it?
Yes, you can access a copy of the document online on DHS website. This document can be viewed using the following link: dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/memorandum-rescission-daca
Further, you can also find a copy of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ announcement online at: uscis.gov/daca2017