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End of DACA Program

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program-or DACA-would be phased out over the next six months, concluding on March 5, 2018. No new applications for legal status dated after September 5, 2017, will be accepted. President Trump tweeted seeking action by Congress, with House Speaker Paul Ryan expressing hope that the House and Senate will find a suitable alternative.

DACA was created during the Obama administration to allow those persons, referred to as "Dreamers," who were brought to the United States as children before 2007 to defer possible removal from the U.S. and/or work permits under certain circumstances for a two-year period that could be renewed for another two-year period.

As shown by its name, DACA protected those children and teens who were under the age of 16 when they arrived in the U.S. Specifically, in order to qualify for the deferral or work permit, the individual must have been: (1) entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday, (2) lived continuously in the country since June 15, 2007, (3) be enrolled in school OR already have a diploma OR a GED OR honorable discharge from the U.S. military. The individual could be no older than 31 as of June 15, 2012, could not have certain types of convictions, and could not otherwise pose a threat to public safety. The individual must have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012.

What this means for now:

  • Those with a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018, may still apply for a two-year renewal of their protected status. The renewal applications must be submitted by October 5, 2017.
  • Other Dreamer status will end as early as March 6, 2018.

Applications pending and filed before September 5, 2017, will continue to be processed.

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