Important Information for People on DACA

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program was implemented by executive order by President Obama in June of 2012.

Under this program, qualified individuals receive reprieve from any immigration enforcement action against them and an employment authorization document (EAD) valid for two years. DACA has been renewable every two years for qualified individuals.

In order to qualify, applicants had to establish they entered the United States when they were under 16 years of age; were born on or after June 15, 1981; resided in the United States since at least June 15, 2007; were either in currently enrolled in school, obtained a GED, graduated from a U.S. high school or college, or served in the U.S. military; and did not have a serious criminal record.

Since August of 2012, over 750,000 individuals who were brought to the United States as children have applied for and received DACA. Over the last four years, many of these individuals have built their own families, obtained university degrees and established professional careers in the United States.

With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the DACA program may be in serious jeopardy. As most on DACA are already aware, Mr. Trump ran his presidential campaign on an anti-immigrant platform and has publically stated that he intends to revoke President Obama’s June 2012 Executive Order that implemented the DACA program.

Mr. Trump will take office on January 20, 2017.

Although we do not yet know with any certainty when or if the DACA program will be eliminated by President Trump, it is very possible that the DACA program could be terminated on January 20, 2017 or soon thereafter.

It is difficult to predict what the future holds, but we are concerned about the risks to the DACA population.

Therefore, at this time, we are making the following recommendations:

1) Any individual on DACA who is eligible for lawful permanent residence through a family member or employment based petition to begin the application process immediately.

2) Individuals already on DACA who are set to expire within the next 180 days should consult with an attorney immediately to discuss the potential risks and benefits of filing for renewal of DACA. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) already has your information, therefore, applying to renew would not likely increase the risk of enforcement action against you. However, it is possible that DACA could be cancelled immediately after your DACA is renewed or even while the application is pending.

3) Individuals who are qualified for DACA but who have not yet applied should also seek the advice of a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer right away. The submission of a DACA application to the DHS at this time could expose you to risk if the Trump administration increases its immigration enforcement to expand beyond current administration priorities.

These are our current general recommendations for individuals on DACA.

Each individual client should discuss their specific case with a qualified immigration attorney to determine the most appropriate action in their particular case.

The above recommendations are based on current, limited information about President Trump’s plans for the future of the DACA program. The recommendations will certainly change as we learn more information about what may actually take place when Mr. Trump takes the oath of office, and becomes the President of the United States.

For more information, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.