On September 5th, 2017, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is ending DACA. We at Gardner & Mendoza, P.C. understand that many of our past, current, and future clients are going through a very trying and uncertain time, and that this latest announcement from the Department of Homeland Security brings up many questions for all those affected. Below, we answer some of those questions for you.
Firstly, am I affected?
Everyone currently holding valid DACA status will retain that status until that status’s expiration date (found on your Employment Authorization Card AND your Approval Notice for Form I-821D).
DHS will no longer accept any initial DACA filings; however, it will continue to process currently pending cases. That means that if you have never filed an application for DACA before, you are no longer eligible to do so. If you submitted your first ever DACA application recently and it was received by DHS on or before September 05, 2017, your case will be processed and adjudicated.
DACA renewal cases currently pending will be processed and adjudicated.
Anyone currently holding valid DACA status whose status expires on or before March 05, 2018 can apply to renew that status until October 05, 2017. That means that your case must be “accepted’ by DHS by October 05, 2017 NOT mailed by October 05, 2017.
Anyone whose most recent DACA status expired before September 05, 2017 and had not yet submitted a renewal application is no longer eligible to do so.
I have a case currently pending, what are some tips?
Make sure you are attending your biometrics appointments so your case is not accidentally abandoned!
Respond timely to any Request for Evidence issued to you by DHS.
If you move, make sure you update your address with DHS using Form AR -11.
My current status is expiring before March 05, 2018, what are some tips?
Make sure you apply to renew as soon as possible. Your case must be “accepted” by DHS on or before October 05, 2017. Your case will be rejected if you send it on October 05, 2017!
If you have any criminal history, especially since your last DACA renewal, consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
Will my information be shared with ICE?
DHS has previously said that it will not share information from DACA applicants with ICE unless that information meets the requirements under the Notice to Appear Memo or if the DACA applicant is a risk to national security.
DHS has also said that information from expired DACA holders and applications will not be provided to ICE in a proactive manner.
Please note that this is DHS policy which is subject to change. If you are concerned, please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
I applied for Advance Parole through DACA, what now?
No new advance parole documents will be issued to DACA recipients.
Anyone with a pending Advance Parole application will have their application administratively closed and their fees refunded to them.
If you currently have Advance Parole, you may still travel outside of the United States for the purpose previously specified; however, as before, it is up to the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection official to let you back into the United States. Please consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to your travel.
We will keep our DACA community updated on our Facebook page. We are hopeful that Congress will work together to create legislation reinstating DACA permanently. As always, if you have questions regarding your specific case, please do not hesitate to contact us at (757) 464-9224.