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DACA Developments

Effective immediately, no new applications for DACA will be accepted by the Department of Homeland Security. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was an exercise of prosecutorial discretion by the Obama administration – a procedural move in 2012, providing temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and work authorization to certain young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.  While popular among the immigrants’ rights community, the procedural move garnered resistance from critics of the administration who argued that the executive action exceeded the former president’s constitutional authority. In response to such critics and in keeping with a campaign promise of Mr. Trump’s, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke rescinded the 2012 DACA memorandum on Tuesday, September 5th and announced a six month “wind down” of the DACA program.

Accordingly, no new DACA applications will be accepted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”). Current DACA beneficiaries whose status is due to expire before March 5, 2018 are permitted to renew their status for an additional two years if application is made on or before October 5, 2017. Any person for whom DACA expires on or after March 6, 2018, will no longer have deferred action or employment authorization as of March 6, 2018.

DACA has enabled almost 800,000 eligible young adults to work lawfully, attend school, and plan their lives without the threat of deportation. Unlike proposed federal legislation, DACA does not provide a permanent legal status to individuals and must be renewed every two years. With the rescission of the DACA memorandum, the fate of the DACA beneficiaries is now in the hands of the US Congress.

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