DACA UPDATE

In September of 2017, the Trump administration announced that it was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

For current DACA recipients, protections remain in effect for now. According to government officials, work permits issued under DACA will be honored until they expire. New DACA applications that were received by September 5, 2017 and renewal applications received by October 5, 2017 will be processed.

USCIS is currently not accepting any more applications for DACA or DACA renewals. Unfortunately, if Congress does not act DACA recipients' permits will start to expire on March 6 2018.

SOME OPTIONS FOR CURRENT DACA RECIPIENTS

Generally speaking, in order to move forward with an employment or family–based Green Card Application a DACA recipient may first need to apply for a waiver wherein the government “forgives” their illegal entry and/or unlawful presence. All immigration waivers are discretionary and some will require the applicant to depart the U.S. in order to apply for the waiver. There are no guarantees that the waiver will be granted or that the applicant will be permitted to return to the U.S, so seeking a waiver does have some inherent risks.

In addition, qualified DACA recipients may apply for Asylum. Undocumented immigrants who are victims of serious crimes can apply for a special visa if they can show they are assisting law enforcement officers in their investigations.

Trafficking victims are also eligible for special visas.

Undocumented immigrants who entered the United States legally but then fell out of status can regain that status if a close family member, such as a legally present spouse or adult child, is willing to petition for them.

Unauthorized immigrants under age 21 may be eligible for a special visa for juveniles who are abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent in their home country. Even undocumented immigrants who are already in removal proceedings can win the right to stay if they can show that a legally present family member would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if they were deported.

It is advisable for DACA recipients to get screened by an immigration attorney to determine if they are eligible for any other type of immigration relief before DACA expires.


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