As you already know, the post-Obama administration abruptly terminated DACA on September 5, 2017. Rather than review how the Department of Homeland Security will phase out DACA (a process detailed in their own FAQs), I rather address some of our Dreamers’ concerns as expressed to us during real consultations.
Q1: Will USCIS share my information with ICE to start removal proceedings?
A1: I highly doubt it. There’s nothing in the rescission FAQs indicating referral to the immigration court for removal proceedings. You may not know it, but USCIS has the power to commence removal proceedings against any alien without relying on ICE. If it wanted to use that power it would’ve employed it against the millions of undocumented aliens who have been the beneficiaries of family petitions (Form I-130s) filed over the past 20 years and who were listed as residing without status in the U.S.
Q2: Now that DACA has ended, will I be fired by my employer?
A2: Your employer only cares about your performance and the validity of your employment authorization. Performance issues aside, your employer will keep you employed until your employment authorization expires. Remember that rather than immediately terminating all work permits, DHS is allowing them to naturally expire.
Q3: Will I lose my social security number?
A3: No. It’s yours for life.
Q4: I still have my travel permit and it’s still valid. Should I use it?
A4: Use it immediately, especially if you last entered the U.S. “without inspection”. The DACA FAQs contains the usual disclaimers that CBP may refuse to parole anyone at any time, and that USCIS may cancel the advance parole document at any time. They’re the “usual disclaimers” because both agencies have had that power all along.
Q5: What if USCIS cancels my travel permit while I am out of the country? How will I be able to return?
A5: If you obtained your travel permit in a legal manner, I don’t see why USCIS should cancel it. As a matter of fact, I’ve never heard of USCIS cancelling TPS or DACA travel permits. But if you have the uniquely horrible luck of cancellation while outside the U.S., then there won’t be a way to bring you back unless you qualify for a visa or other relief, and you probably won’t. If you’re really concerned about that eventuality, then it’s best if you don’t travel.
Q6: My DACA status expires on March 8, 2018. Can I renew?
A6: Not under the current guidance. This question isn’t as simple as it sounds because this administration has been so unpredictable that I wouldn’t be surprised if the “current guidance” is refined in the near future.
Q7: Do you think that congress will act and approve a DREAM Act?
A7: No, I don’t believe that this congress will.
Q8: Do you think the president will “revisit” DACA (as he promised the day he terminated it) if Congress fails to act?
Q9: I lost my work permit. If I file a Form I-765 to replace it, will the replacement work permit show a new 2-year expiration date or will it show the old expiration date?
A9: We’re not even sure if USCIS will issue a replacement work permit, but if they do, it’ll bear the same expiration date as the lost document.
Q10: Do you think that USCIS will approve my *initial* DACA application filed just before the termination announcement?
A10: I don’t know whether they’ll approve it, but I think that they’ll fairly adjudicate it.
Last updated 09/14/2017
Image Credit: Jose Pineda