As expected, the Department of Justice just announced that the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—known as DACA—has been rescinded. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered the news in a morning press conference at the Department of Justice.
The Attorney General noted that the Department of Homeland Security has developed a plan to begin the “immediate wind-down” of the DACA program.
The Obama administration implemented the DACA program in 2012 through executive action. The program was available to individuals who came to the United States before their 16th birthday, have no criminal record, file federal and state income taxes, graduated from high school, and had accrued continuous, uninterrupted presence in the United States since 2007.
The Department of Homeland Security provided those accepted into DACA with protection from deportation; work authorization documents; the ability to lawfully work, attend school, buy real estate, open bank checking and credit accounts, and purchase cars and insurance; and enroll in community colleges, technical schools, colleges, and universities across the United States.
Since 2012, nearly 900,000 individuals were accepted into the DACA program—with nearly 60,000 of those individuals from Pennsylvania and New Jersey and 30,000 from the five New York City boroughs alone.
There are far reaching implications to the recession of DACA, beyond the impact on nearly 900,000 individuals who stand to lose the temporary status. Since 2012, hundreds of thousands of small and large businesses, employers, banks, colleges, universities, technical schools, and community colleges have employed, still employ, or have some relationship with the individual DACA recipients.
The DACA recession decision, while expected, has brought to light many questions and concerns, such as:
1) Are current DACA holders facing deportation proceedings?
2) Will immigration officers come knocking at the doors of DACA holders?
3) Are current DACA holders permitted to seek other forms of immigration protection or relief?
4) Will the Department of Homeland Security use the information voluntarily provided for the DACA program against DACA holders?
3) What are the rights and responsibilities of employers who may have employed or are unsure if they are now employing current DACA holders?
4) What are the rights and responsibilities of community colleges, technical schools, colleges, and universities who have current DACA holders enrolled as students?
5) What are the rights and responsibilities of financial institutions, landlords, credit unions, mortgage companies, automobile finance companies, and other organizations that previously conducted and still conduct business with DACA holders?
The Department of Homeland Security has yet to release its guidance on facilitating the wind-down of the DACA program. The Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Immigration Practice Group is closely reviewing today’s Department of Justice announcement and is monitoring the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, Department of Education, and any and all other federal agencies for memorandums and guidance on the DACA recession.
Please stay tuned. If you have questions about this post, your rights, or any other immigration law issues, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.