The March 5th DACA Expiration Deadline Has Come and Gone. Now What?
What Does it Mean For Dreamers?
The government fight over DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program) has been dominating headlines since President Trump rescinded President Obama’s executive order on September 5, 2017. On that day, his administration drew a proverbial line in the sand with legislators, challenging them to find a solution by March 5, 2018. That announcement has caused more than a fair share of chaos for Dreamers opening up new fears and outrage about what is or isn’t going to happen to the program in the near term. If you are following the debate, the March 5, 2018 expiration date sounded quite ominous, but it is no longer accurate thanks to the actions of one federal judge who recently ruled that Trump’s canceling of the program was “illegal because it was based on a flawed legal premise that the agency lacked authority to implement DACA.” In fact, here is an updated summary of what everyone needs to know.
What is DACA? Who are the “Dreamers”?
ICYMI, the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an executive order introduced by the Obama administration in June of 2012. The program states that “certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.” In short, these are the children of undocumented immigrants and they are affectionately named “Dreamers” after the DREAM Act which failed to be enacted by Congress. Obama’s DACA program temporarily guaranteed protection from active deportation by the federal government. Under DACA, this deportation protection lasts two years after which a DACA applicant must reapply.
What is going to happen on March 5?
On September 5, 2017, President Trump tweeted, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA,” and “If they can’t, I will revisit the issue!” By “revisiting”, most of us have been under the assumption that he would likely end the program. So far, this simply has not happened. However, Congress still has not made any meaningful forward movement to enact DACA into law. Other than the brave actions of one California federal judge, not much has transpired.
Are “Dreamers” still in danger of being targeted for deportation?
The short answer is no. Back in September of 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a published memo that Dreamers whose permits expired by March 5, 2018 and did not apply to renew their DACA status by October 5, 2017 would lose their DACA protections. At that time, DHS stated that approximately 21,000 people could be affected. Fast forward to January 13, 2018 and the DHS announced that those whose DACA permit has already expired may indeed still reapply for a two-year extension.
So…What happens next for DACA and the “Dreamers”?
Unfortunately, no one really knows what will happen next for DACA. What we do know is that USCIS has published a detailed memo that explains that applications for DACA renewals are currently being accepted with no stated end to the program. While we wait for the next unpredictable announcement (or early morning tweet) from our Commander in Chief, our friends from the immigration legal community recommend that the best course of action is to simply take action and renew DACA if you meet the USCIS stated criteria.
What do immigration attorneys have to say about renewing your DACA during these uncertain times? Is this safe?
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 required in the I-821D DACA renewal form to the federal government. However, AILA (the leading authority on immigration law) said, “
Based on available information, it appears that there is great risk in choosing to NOT renew your DACA while there appears to be little risk in sending your DACA renewal application to USCIS.
In order to renew your DACA application, it is important to remember that it should be filed with USCIS immediately because this time window may not last.
What is Road to Status?
The fastest, easiest way to complete your DACA application or renewal online.
If you believe you are eligible to apply for or renew your DACA, the fastest and easiest way to confirm your eligibility and 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, affordable cost. In fact, hundreds of previous DACA applicants like you have used Road to Status to complete their applications in less than 30 minutes.
If you are curious about more details about how Road to Status can help you, learn more about renewing a DACA application here.
Once you have created your free Road to Status 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 check out to download your application package to print and mail to USCIS.
If you have any questions about us before starting an application, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (857) 600-0972.