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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

General Information

On September 4, 2017 – The US Attorney General issued a letter that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) is unconstitutional. The following day, he also issued information regarding the rescission of the DACA program.  Generally, the DACA program phases out on March 5, 2018 (6 months), however, Congress or the President may act before that time to make changes that could change its expiration as well as the nature of the program.  Current deferrals and employment authorizations under DACA are valid until the date of expiration on those documents.  Pending applications and renewals will be considered on a case-by-case basis under the current rules.

The information below is provided as a summary of how the rescission/phase-out will work as well as to provide information on resources within the University of Houston System.

Initial Applications

Initial DACA requests for deferral and for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that have already been filed will be considered on a case-by-case basis within the same parameters as before if the requests were received by Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

All pending applications and renewals as of September 5, 2017 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Renewals

DACA benefits that expire on or before March 5, 2018:

Current DACA recipients whose benefits will expire during the 6-month grace period (between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018) have an additional month to file for renewal of DACA benefits and associated applications for EADs.  Requests to renew DACA and associated applications for EADs must be filed by October 5, 2017.

DACA benefits that expire after March 5, 2018:

Current DACA recipients whose benefits will expire after the 6-month grace period (after March 5, 2018) cannot file for renewal after September 5, 2017. Therefore, after September 5, 2017, all renewal applications for DACA that would expire after March 5, 2018, will be denied.

Advance Parole

USCIS had a program through which DACA recipients could request permission to travel outside the country and re-enter with their DACA status, if they could demonstrate that their need for travel was for “humanitarian, education, or employment” purposes.

USCIS will no longer accept requests for advance parole.  All pending and future requests are denied.  All fees for the requests will be refunded.

USCIS will allow travel for advance parole requests that were already approved; However, CBP will retain the authority it has always exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border. Further, USCIS retains the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.

Any DACA recipient that travels outside the US without approved advance parole status automatically forfeits DACA status.

Lost EAD Cards

If an individual’s still-valid EAD is lost, stolen, or destroyed, they may request a replacement EAD by filing a new Form I-765.

Enforcement

USCIS says that the information provided in DACA requests will not proactively be provided to ICE and CBP for immigration proceedings, unless they meet the requirements for a Notice to Appear; however, CIS notes that this policy may be modified, superseded, or revoked without notice at any time.  See:  2011 USCIS Policy Memorandum re Notices to Appear. Generally, these would be items that are a violation of DACA status.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Action 2011 memorandum titled “Enforcement Actions at or Focused on Sensitive Locations” remains in effect. Sensitive locations include colleges and universities. This policy is designed to ensure that enforcement does not occur unless exigent circumstances exist.

Deadlines

September 5, 2017

This was the last day to file for Initial Requests for DACA and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).  All initial applications filed after this date will be denied.

This was the last day to file an application for renewal for Current DACA recipients whose benefits will expire after the six-month grace period (after March 5, 2018). After September 5, 2017, all renewal applications for DACA benefits that would expire after March 5, 2018, will be denied.

October 5, 2017

Last day to file application for renewal for Current DACA recipients whose benefits will expire during the six-month grace period (between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018).  If DACA recipients’ status expires within the six-month period, they have this additional month to file for renewal of DACA benefits and associated applications for EADs.

All renewal applications filed after this date will be denied.

University of Houston System:

  1. Statement from UH System Chancellor Renu Khator on DACA (September 5, 2017).
  2. UHS Resources: UH Immigration Clinic

The University of Houston Law Center’s immigration clinic is available to University of Houston System students from all of our campuses who need a free intake consultation. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the clinic main number at (713) 743-2094. Be sure to indicate you are a student with the UH System and ask for an intake consultation[a1] . 

Further information can be found within the resources below.

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  1. Frequently Asked Questions: Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (September 5, 2017) Provides answers to many of the questions about how DHS will handle DACA rescission.
  2. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (September 5, 2017).
  3. Memorandum on Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” (September 5, 2017).
  4. Press Release, “Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” (September 5, 2017). 

Other Resources:

  1. Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Community Advisory, “What Do I Need to Know if the DACA Program Ends?” (August 28, 2017).