September 7, 2017
The Trump administration announced on September 5, 2017, that they will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. DACA is a law that allows undocumented immigrants that qualify to receive two-year work permits and to receive an exemption from deportation. President Obama created the immigration policy in 2012 to stall deportation efforts against immigrants that were brought to the United States as children.
The concept behind the policy is that immigrant children should not face deportation consequences for their parents’ immigration actions. DACA is a temporary relief from immigration enforcement; it is not a legal immigration status that leads to a green card or citizenship. However, DACA does provide immigrants many options they would not have otherwise. DACA recipients can work, obtain a driver’s license, and apply for the proper paperwork to travel abroad and return to the United States. Nearly 800,000 immigrants have benefited from the program.
If you are a DACA recipient or possibly qualify, here are four things you need to know:
- Renewing Your DACA: If your DACA expires before March 5, 2018, you can apply for a two-year renewal now, as long as you apply for renewal by October 5, 2017. If your DACA does not expire before March 5, 2018, your DACA work authorization and status will end on March 6th.
- First-Time Application: If you sent a first-time application for DACA prior to September 5th, your application will continue to be processed. Application submitted after September 5th will not be accepted.
- DACA Proof and Paperwork: It is important that you keep proof of your DACA status with you. Keep a copy of your work authorization card and DACA approval notice with you at all times.
- Remember You have Rights: The U.S. Constitution provides right to everyone – You do not have to be a citizen to have rights. You have a right to a lawyer. You have a right to refuse a search if you are stopped by the police, but are not under arrest. You have a right to remain silent if stopped by an immigration officer.
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Sister Najmeh is the Founder and Lead Immigration Attorney at ImmigraTrust Law (www.ImmigraTrust.com), an immigration law practice in Sacramento, California, representing individual and corporate clients in all 50 U.S. States and internationally. Sister Najmeh can be reached at Najmeh@ImmigraTrust.com.
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