The White House hinted for days that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but on Tuesday it began to sketch out exactly how that will work.
Speaking at the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he because he does not believe DACA would have been able to withstand a pending legal challenge from a group of Republican attorneys general, he recommended that the Department of Homeland Security take steps to phase it out.
“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” he said.
Here’s an outline of those steps and what it all means for so-called Dreamers:
- Under the phase-out plan outlined on Tuesday, current DACA recipients whose benefits—work permits and reprieve from deportation–are set to expire by or before March 5, 2018, will have until Oct. 5 to apply for renewals.
- Initial requests for DACA that were submitted by Sept. 5, 2017, will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, but any request submitted after that date will not be accepted.
- If a person has already submitted a request for renewal, even if their DACA is not set to expire before March 5, they will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Generally, DACA benefits will not be revoked or terminated under the memo, but once documents expire, that’s it. DACA benefits are valid for two years after they are issued.
- Advanced parole benefits, under which some DACA recipients have been permitted to travel abroad, are no longer available. DHS says that existing benefits will be generally be honored, but Customs and Border Protection has the right to determine whether or not someone should be admitted to the U.S. and Citizenship and Immigration Services is free to revoke or terminate advanced parole as it sees fit.
- When a person’s DACA expires, they will no longer be shielded from deportation nor will they be eligible for work permits. The Department of Homeland Security says, generally, it will not be sharing information DACA recipients have provided to USCIS with immigration enforcement. That can change if a person presents a threat to national security or public safety.
- If a current DACA beneficiary has his or her valid employment authorization lost or stolen, they will still be permitted to have those documents replaced.
- According to the Department of Homeland Security, there were 106,341 pending DACA renewals and initial requests as of Aug. 20, 2017. Of the 201,678 individuals whose DACA and employment authorization is set to expire by Dec. 2017, 55,258 have already submitted renewal requests.
- Although Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke revoked the 2012 memo from former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano that established DACA, pending applications will be reviewed under the same parameters outlined in the previous policy.
- In order to qualify for DACA a person is still required to have been under the age of 16 when they came to the U.S. and be under age 31 by June 2012, been in the U.S. continuously since June 2007, and have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor. Those eligible are also required to either be in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or be an honorably discharged Coast Guard or Armed Services veteran.
More information can be found at DHS, which has provided answers to some frequently asked questions about the Trump Administration’s decision.