© Attorney Farhad Sethna , September 5, 2017
On the heels of the bleak announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on September 5, 2017 that the DACA program would be rescinded, the USCIS issued a detailed memorandum outlying the process for rescinding the current DACA program.
The details of the DACA program are well known, and are spelled out in previous articles on this blog, therefore I will not repeat them here. However, it is key for readers to recognize the following important elements of the DACA rescission:
- Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed and pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents that have been accepted by the Department as of September 5, 2017.
- Will reject all DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after September 5.
- Will adjudicate—on an individual, case by case basis—properly filed and pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between the date of this memorandum and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted by the Department as of October 5, 2017.
- Will reject all DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed outside of the parameters specified above.
- Will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
- Will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. Notwithstanding the continued validity of advance parole approvals previously granted, CBP will—of course—retain the authority it has always had and exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border and the eligibility of such persons for parole. Further, USCIS will—of course—retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
- Will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
- Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.
As readers can see, the currently filed and pending DACA applications will be reviewed on an “individual, case-by-case basis”. This was the prior procedure as well, so I hopeful that the currently pending applications will continue to be processed.
Any application filed on or after September 6, 2017 will be rejected. This will include only the initial DACA application and the concurrently filed application for employment authorization for new cases.
Cases for current DACA beneficiaries whose DACA status expires before March 5, 2018 will continue to be adjudicated as long as the renewal applications are filed by October 5, 2017.
Please note: it is very important to understand that if you are a DACA recipient and your current DACA status expires on or before March 5, 2018, that you must file your DACA renewal application on or before October 5, 2017.
Finally, many DACA recipients have taken advantage of the advance parole provisions to obtain travel documents to return to their home countries to visit family, transact business, etc. USCIS is now going to discontinue that practice and will not issues any advance parole (form I-131 applications) anymore. Any pending advance parole applications will be closed and USCIS will refund fees to the applicants.
Please stay tuned on this very important matter for any further clarification or discussion by USCIS or the Department of Homeland Security.
About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 25 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and New Philadelphia, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible