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Trump Administration Formally Announces Its Intention to End DACA


by SIOP Administrative Office

October 5th Deadline to Submit Renewal Applications

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions formally announced that the Trump Administration would be rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The news comes after months of internal White House deliberations about whether and how to phase out the program and threats from 10 State AGs to sue the Administration if the program were to be continued. Since 2012, DACA has provided work permits and relief from deportation to some 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors.  

The Administration is phasing out DACA, allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake an orderly wind-down of the program. Under the new guidance, current DACA recipients will be able to retain deferred action status and work authorization until the individual’s current DACA expiration is reached. For current DACA holders facing expirations prior to March 5, 2018, individuals will be able to submit renewal applications until October 5, 2017. While new applications will no longer be accepted, currently pending applications in the system will be reviewed on a case by case basis. According to supplemental materials accompanying the announcement, personal information of DACA recipients will not be proactively provided to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) for purposes of immigration enforcement, aside from cases related to national security or public safety.  However, DHS notes it retains the authority to modify or change this policy at any time.   

Congressional leadership has indicated their interest in seeking a legislative resolution for DACA. Several legislative proposals have been raised as possible congressional solutions, including the bipartisan Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which would provide extended protected status temporarily to undocumented individuals, similar to DACA. Other legislative options would offer pathways toward permanent residency for certain individuals brought to the U.S. as children. While congressional proponents of DACA have been unable to move such bills in the past, the urgency of the March deadline and Presidential support for a congressional fix may now change the calculus. Congressional leadership have not yet announced the procedure for consideration of any potential fix. 

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