DACA FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions on the September 5, 2017 Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.

Why is DHS phasing out the DACA program?

A:

Taking into consideration the federal court rulings in ongoing litigation, and the September 4, 2017 letter from the Attorney General, it is clear that program should be terminated. As such, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security rescinded the June 15, 2012 memorandum establishing the DACA program. Please see the Attorney General’s letter and the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security’s memorandum for further information on how this decision was reached.


What is going to happen to current DACA holders?

A:

Current DACA recipients will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their employment authorization documents (EADs) until they expire, unless terminated or revoked. DACA benefits are generally valid for two years from the date of issuance.


What happens to individuals who currently have an initial DACA request pending?

A:

Due to the anticipated costs and administrative burdens associated with rejecting all pending initial requests, USCIS will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—all properly filed DACA initial requests and associated applications for EADs that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017.


What happens to individuals who currently have a request for renewal of DACA pending?

A:

Due to the anticipated costs and administrative burdens associated with rejecting all pending renewal requests, USCIS 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 as of September 5, 2017, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted as of October 5, 2017.  USCIS will reject all requests to renew DACA and associated applications for EADs filed after October 5, 2017.


Is there still time for current DACA recipients to file a request to renew their DACA?

A:

USCIS will only accept renewal requests and associated applications for EADs for the class of individuals described above in the time period described above.


What happens when an individual’s DACA benefits expire over the course of the next two years? Will individuals with expired DACA be considered illegally present in the country?

A:

Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred.  When their period of deferred action expires or is terminated, their removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment.

Only Congress has the authority to amend the existing immigration laws.


Once an individual’s DACA expires, will their case be referred to ICE for enforcement purposes?

A:

Information provided to USCIS in DACA requests will not be proactively provided to ICE and CBP for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the requestor meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth in USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance (www.uscis.gov/NTA). This policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.


What were the previous guidelines for USCIS to grant DACA?

A:

Individuals meeting the following categorical criteria could apply for DACA if they:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated, or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

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