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Original DACA Program Preserved for Now!

Original DACA Program Preserved for Now!

On June 15, Secretary Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the very welcome news that the June 15, 2012, Memorandum, which created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by the Obama administration, would remain in effect.

What is NOT preserved?

  1. The expansion of the DACA program, which allowed for three-year work authorization documents to be issued versus two-year documents to DACA applicants was rescinded.
  2. The November 20, 2014, Memorandum creating the program for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), which was never actually activated, was rescinded. DHS issued FAQs as well on June 15, indicating that the rescission action was taken due to the nationwide injunction of the DAPA Memorandum, the ongoing litigation, new enforcement priorities, and that DAPA was never allowed to be implemented.

These two benefit expansions were subject to an injunction based on a challenge by 26 states, which started in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and was allowed to continue due to the 4-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What is preserved?

  1. DACA recipients who were issued three-year work authorization extensions before the injunction issued by the U.S. District Court in Texas on February 16, 2015, under the DACA expansion may retain the three-year authorizations to work.
  2. No employment authorization documents (EAD) issued pursuant to DACA’s provisions will be terminated prior to their expiration dates according to the FAQs.
  3. DACA recipients will be eligible to request two-year extensions upon expiration of the current EADs in compliance with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements.

Note that there is still no indication of how long this program may exist.

In addition, many EAD renewal applicants have suffered from processing delays. USCIS has developed self-help tools for addressing processing delays. In addition, USCIS recommends that DACA recipients file their renewal applications between 150 to 120 days before the expiration of their current EAD.

For more information, please contact the author of this post, Kathleen Campbell Walker (kwalker@dykema.com), or immigration practice group members Heather Frayre (hfrayre@dykema.com) and Jim Aldrich (jaldrich@dykema.com).