By CAROLINA VALDIVIA
Earlier this summer, Ken Paxton (attorney general of Texas) issued a statement where he called on the current administration to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) federal program. Ken was joined by 10 other states who threatened to sue the administration if they did not end DACA by Tuesday September 5th of 2017. As a response, this morning (9/5/17), attorney general Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration is rescinding DACA. The administration is now giving Congress six months to act and come up with a “solution”.
What does this mean for undocumented young adults?
– If you qualify for DACA, but have not submitted your application: DACA initial request applications will no longer be reviewed.
– If you currently have DACA: You can keep using your employment authorization/social security number.
– If your DACA is going to expire before/on March 5, 2018: You can apply to renew it. Note: You need to submit your renewal application by October 5, 2017.
– Regarding advance parole: If you have DACA and had plans to travel abroad using advance parole (AP), new Form I-131 applications for advance parole will not be reviewed. If you received your AP approval before 9/5/17, it will still be honored. Pending applications will be denied and the money will be refunded.
Here’s the official text from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
- “Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum.
- Will reject all DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after the date of this memorandum.
- Will adjudicate—on an individual, case by case basis—properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between the date of this memorandum and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted by the Department as of October 5, 2017.
- Will reject all DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed outside of the parameters specified above.
- Will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
- Will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. Notwithstanding the continued validity of advance parole approvals previously granted, CBP will—of course—retain the authority it has always had and exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border and the eligibility of such persons for parole. Further, USCIS will—of course—retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
- Will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
- Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.”
Here is DHS’s Frequently Asked Questions page regarding DACA that may also be helpful.
What can we do during this time?
1) Take care of yourself and loved ones, and reach out for support. Undoubtedly, the administration’s decision to rescind DACA will have devastating consequences in our community. We must support each other and take care of our health.
2) Stay up to date. At My Undocumented Life blog, we will continue to provide the latest information on DACA, advance parole, ways to take action/support undocumented immigrants, and more.
3) Join an immigrant rights organization in your community. You are not alone. The decision to rescind DACA (and the ongoing attacks on the undocumented community more broadly) are inhumane and unjust. We must organize, fight back, and escalate. As one of my dear friends shared, “nos quitaron tanto, que nos quitaron el miedo”.
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