DACA Facts You Must Know to Move Forward
We knew it was coming, no surprise here. No need to ask why, the answer keeps spitting at our faces. Best thing you can do right now?
K N O W Y O U R S H I T.
WHAT WE KNOW
- The order formally ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) terminating the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people who entered the country undocumented as children.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will approve DACA applications and renewals on a case-by-case basis if they were received by the department as of September 5, 2017.
- New applications will not be accepted going forward.
- Current DACA recipients will be allowed to keep their work permits until they expire, unless they are revoked.
- USCIS will approve DACA renewal applications on a case-by-case basis if the benefits expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 and the department receives the applications by October 5, 2017.
- If DACA benefits expire after March 5, 2018, they will no longer be renewed.
- No person should lose benefits before March 5, 2018 under the new order.
- DACA recipients currently outside the country traveling with a valid grant of advance parole should be able to return to the country as long as they do so before the advance parole expires.
- Even though USCIS states that people with advance parole remain should be able to return before it expires, U.S. Customs and Border Protection retains the discretion to deny you re-entry into the country and it is not guaranteed that DACA recipients traveling with advance parole will be allowed to re-enter the country.
- If you are a DACA recipient, you have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended.
- Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
- Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired.
- You still have the right to apply for a new job or change jobs until your work permit expires.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
- If DACA expires will the recipient’s case be referred to ICE for enforcement purposes? Well, technically no, unless they receive a Notice To Appear from USCIS under these guidelines. They also tell you that these stipulations can change at any time without notice so ponte trucha.
- If a pending request is denied will information be shared with ICE for enforcement purposes? Again, USCIS says that “generally” they don’t share information of applicants for immigration enforcement unless you’re a national security threat or meet the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear. However, they also say “this policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice…”
- Can a person’s DACA be terminated before it expires? Yup, it is an exercise of deferred action, which is a form of prosecutorial discretion. The Department of Homeland Security will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time if they deem appropriate.
- Will a recipient be able to travel while their DACA still valid? Effective September 5, 2017, USCIS will no longer approve applications for advance parole under DACA. If an applicant has a previously-approved advance parole application, they will generally keep the benefit until it expires but the recommendation is that people with DACA should not leave the country. If there are pending request for advance parole to travel outside of the United States, it will no longer be processed and fees will be refunded.
- Apply for an SSN while your DACA and work permit are still valid.
- Seek advice before you travel.
Current DACA recipients whose eligibility expires between now and March 5 have until October 5 to apply for renewal.
IF YOU’RE BEING AFFECTED BY THIS TERMINATION THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Don’t panic. Be aware of your situation and know there are options if your DACA hasn’t expired.
- This is the moment to become active and engaged in the movement. Reach out to local advocacy groups such as Puente, Aliento, the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, No Dream Dream Deferred, Undocumented Students for Education Equity, Center for Neighborhood Leadership and others.
- Spread the word, educate and share accurate information.
- If you are experiencing issues with depression and want to seek professional help, the Open Path Collective offers affordable therapy options.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO
The way you can support is by advocating and having an active participation with local and national groups. You can help by attending phone banks to answer questions for the community, showing up to actions, donating money to those who will need to apply for renewal by October 5 (they have one month to come up with $495) or providing moral support to those affected.
You can also leave Cheeto in Chief a comment here to let him know how much you disagree with his decision to end DACA. Here’s a sample of an undeserved polite message:
As an American citizen, I am appalled by your decision to terminate protections for 800,000 DACA beneficiaries who pay taxes, attend our colleges and universities, and contribute to our communities as doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers and business owners. Your decision could reduce the U.S. GDP by more than $400 billion over the next decade. I urge you to work with Congress to pass a legislative solution that will ensure the protection of those affected by your decision to terminate DACA.
Also, call the White House, you never know. Leave a message at 202-456-1111.
You can also bug the bejesus out of your representatives and senators (find them here). Call the hell outta them, ask to speak with whoever is in charge of policy or just leave a message. As The a Huff Post contributor suggests it, here’s a scripted way but please ad your mojo:
My name is ____, and I am one of your constituents. I am calling to express my discontent with the White House’s decision to end DACA and ask Senator/Representative ______ to support legislative action that will protect immigrants affected by the termination of DACA. Eight hundred thousand lives are affected because of the president’s decision to end DACA, and now it is time for Congress to pass a law that would provide a pathway to citizenship for this group of immigrants. Does Senator/Representative _____ currently support the DREAM Act or Hope Act?
If you are told your representative/senator supports either the DREAM Act (in the Senate) or Hope Act (in the House of Representatives), acknowledge their work and thank them for their service. FOLLOW UP! Make sure it’s not just bullshit.
This is a powerful tool that takes little effort but could actually have an impact if coordinated in a massive way. So, tweet your representatives in Congress and White House officials as well as local leaders. Let them know you disapprove of the president’s termination of the DACA program and that you demand Congress to pass legislative action to protect those affected.
Important Twitter handles:
Donald Trump @realdonaldtrump
Representative Paul Ryan @SpeakerRyan;
Senator Mitch McConnell @SenateMajLdr
Representative Trent Franks @RepTrentFranks
Representative Ruben Gallego @RepRubenGallego
Representative Paul Gosar @RepGosar
Representative Raúl Grijalva @RepRaulGrijalva
Representative Martha McSally @RepMcSally
Representative David Schweikert @RepDavid
Representative Kyrsten Sinema @RepSinema
Senator Jeff Flake @JeffFlake or @FlakeforSenate
Senator John McCain @SenJohnMcCain or @TeamMcCain
Hashtags: #DACA, #DREAMers #DACAProtest #HereToStay #DefendDACA #SaveDACA
RINSE & REPEAT
Yeah, like the shampoo TV commercials. You must do this over and over again to generate an impact. Bother the shit out of the people who represent you so they’ll do something. Make them work, they just had a three week vacay.
Check this list of legal professionals that could help you through the confusion.