LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. President Trump announced in early September that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would be phasing out and ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) over the next two years. The change has made many in the immigrant community nervous, particularly those who were considering applying to DACA and those who have provided their information to the U.S. government. Recipients of DACA were children when they were brought to the country. In many cases, the U.S. is the only country they have ever known. These are children who may not speak their home language. They may not have ever even visited their home country. In most cases, they had no choice about how their parents chose to immigrate. Their cause is widely supported across the U.S. The decision to wind down the DACA program is a major blow to this youth group and their families.

While new DACA applications will no longer be accepted, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center notes that renewal applications will be continued to be accepted until October 5, 2017 for individuals whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. This means that if you fall into this category under DACA you may want to consider speaking to a DACA lawyer, like the O’Brien Law Group in Louisville, Kentucky as soon as possible. If your DACA status has already expired, you will not be permitted to renew it.

If you currently hold DACA status, you are permitted to work until this status expires. USCIS claims that it will not refer current DACA holders or applicants for deportation unless they meet criteria for deportation due to being a threat to public safety or national security.

If you are currently working under DACA, you also have important rights. First, you are permitted to work until your permit expires. Second, you are not required to tell your employer that your status has expired when it does. Finally, your employer is not permitted to ask you about your status. Your employer also does not have the right to fire you due to your status as a DACA holder, though your employer may have the right to ask for an updated work permit when your status expires.

If you are currently a DACA holder, you may have other options and avenues to getting a green card. It may be wise to speak to a green card lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky like the O’Brien Law Group.

The situation is evolving and Congress has been asked to act to protect DACA holders before the program winds down. It isn’t clear what Congress will ultimately do. According to the New York Times, some worry that the Dreamers and DACA holders may be used as a pawn to pass more comprehensive immigration crackdowns and reforms.

DACA holders represent a major cross-section of the U.S. They are parents of U.S. children who need their DACA status to keep their jobs. They are students, community leaders, nurses, homecare workers, and others. Activists, community leaders, and immigration lawyers are watching the situation very closely as it unfolds over the coming months.

 

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