DACA Future Uncertain

On August 15, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) marked its fifth anniversary. Created by President Obama’s Executive Order in 2012, DACA defers removal actions against undocumented immigrants who had entered the United States as minors. DACA recipients are eligible to receive a  two-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with a category code (c)(33) designation. It is important to note that DACA does not provide legal status or a path to lawful permanent residence or citizenship.

Under the law, foreign nationals in certain employment eligibility categories who file an EAD renewal application may receive automatic extensions of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days. This is not the case for DACA (c)(33) EADs. When a (c)(33) EAD expires, the individual loses his/her ability to continue working in the U.S. until a valid new I-9 List A or List C document becomes available.                                        

Today, nearly 800,000 individuals have benefited from DACA, but many are concerned that the program could be ended soon. President Trump, who during his campaign had promised to end DACA, is facing pressure from a coalition of Republican state attorneys general who have threatened to sue the federal government unless the program is done away with by September 5. DACA supporters around the country conducted various rallies on Tuesday to urge the Trump administration to keep the program. President Trump has yet to disclose how his administration will handle DACA.

Immigration Services at Employers Council will continue to monitor any immigration related developments.