What Does the Trump Presidency Mean For DACA?
Since the election of Donald Trump as president, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding what is going to happen to many immigration benefits programs including DACA. Many immigration benefits like Naturalization (“citizenship”) and Lawful Permanent Residency (“green cards”) are protected by law and cannot be changed by the president on his own. However, there are other benefits not protected by law that can be altered or eliminated rather easily by the president…so what does the Trump presidency mean for DACA?
DACA is one of the immigration benefits that President Trump can alter or eliminate with relative ease.
Here at Road to Status, we know this is a confusing time for immigrants. Our aim is to share facts & clear up some of the confusion regarding the DACA program.
(And our goal, as always, is to make the immigration process easier and more accessible for everyone. Created by a team of immigrants and immigration attorneys, Road to Status can help you complete your immigration applications faster, easier, and by yourself online.)
No matter who is the president, we are here to help immigrants like you make sense of the immigration process.
So far, Trump and his team have not announced any specific details or plans about continuing or ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.
As a result, no one is quite sure what types of benefits and relief will be available to you in the coming months….
What Does the Trump Presidency Mean for DACA?
In 2012, President Obama implemented DACA. Currently, the program protects almost three quarters of a million immigrants who came to the US under the age of 16 from being removed from the United States. The program also allows recipients to lawfully apply for work authorization and in most states, obtain a driver’s license.
President Obama created the DACA program by executive order. Executive orders are nothing new; every president since George Washington has used them to get things accomplished.
An executive order is simply a formal way the president directs agencies in writing – like USCIS – what to do. It is important to point out that executive orders are not laws and because they are not laws, the sitting president can change how executive orders are followed, if at all, at any time.
In a recent statement, Trump claimed he is open to allowing for legal status to be granted to millions of undocumented immigrants. Even still, the fate of DACA is uncertain. Without any specific details from Trump about his plan for DACA, it is important that current DACA recipients (and potential first time DACA applicants) plan for what could happen.
In a worst case scenario, Trump could swiftly end DACA at any time via executive order. In the following two sections, we will address our best recommendation based on the current reality & based on what could happen for those who are thinking of applying for DACA or renewing their existing DACA.
What To Do If You Currently Do NOT Have DACA & Are Thinking of Applying For the First Time
We feel it is best to judge people by their actions first and foremost. What we’ve seen so far with Trump’s presidency is that they are far more focused on deporting people with criminal records more so than ending immigration benefits for people who are valuable, contributing members to society. Current signs point to the DACA program (or something very similar) continuing to exist.
While the Trump administration has increased its rate of deportations, there has been a significant focus on undocumented people with criminal records. The administration appears to be much more welcoming than originally thought to undocumented immigrants who are here to work & build their lives in the United States.
So long as you do not have a criminal record, we recommend applying for DACA if you are eligible for the program. You can see if you are eligible by using our free eligibility checker tool here.
Even though things are looking promising for DACA, we have learned that Trump is prone to change his stance (especially on immigration). If you are eligible, it is likely best to apply to for DACA benefits now while USCIS is still openly accepting new DACA applications & granting those benefits.
What To Do If You Currently Have DACA & Are Thinking of Renewing Your DACA
In a recent practice advisory, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), acknowledged the uncertainty being felt by many immigrants and current DACA recipients.
Some of that fear is around sending your personal, identifying information asked for in the I-821D DACA renewal form to the federal government. However, AILA (the leading authority on immigration law) said, “information pertaining to individuals who have already been granted DACA is already known to the government. Therefore, it does not appear that individuals seeking to renew their DACA benefits would incur additional risks by submitting a renewal application.”
There is great risk in choosing to NOT renew your DACA while there is little risk in sending your renewal application to USCIS.
In order to renew your DACA application, it is important to remember that it must be filed with USCIS in a certain time window. This time window makes sure the application is processed before benefits expire. For more information about your DACA renewal time, you can use this simple calculator tool.
If you are in your renewal window (or will be soon), we recommend preparing your DACA renewal application as soon as possible.
The Fastest, Easiest Way to Complete Your DACA Application or Renewal Online
We now know what a Trump presidency mean for DACA, it is time to get started. If you are eligible to apply for or renew your DACA, the fastest and easiest way to complete your application is to do it online with us here at Road to Status.
If you would like to consult with a licensed attorney either before or after you fill out your application, you can be connected with an attorney who is an immigration specialist quickly and affordably through our Road to Status platform. Everything you need to confidently & easily complete your application is here, all at a low, reasonable cost.
Hundreds of previous DACA applicants like you have used Road to Status to complete their applications in less than 30 minutes.
Once you have created your account, you will be asked a series of simple questions to help you get started. When you finish your application, you can easily edit and review your application documents (and have them reviewed by a professional immigration attorney if you so desire).
Once you are completely satisfied & confident in your application, you can checkout to download your application package to print and mail to USCIS.
If you have any questions about us before starting an application, please click here to email us or call us at (857) 600-0972
Click here to check your eligibility and create your account now. It is the quick & easy way to complete your DACA application or renewal. Our goal at Road to Status is to remove the “work” you have to do when completing your immigration paperwork.
Even if you are not deeply knowledgeable about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), you or someone you know is probably eligible to apply. The process…