The Trump administration’s announcement Tuesday that it plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the coming months — delivered in a speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a statement by the president — was long on rhetoric but short on details. But the government does have a plan to wind DACA down. Here’s how DACA will end:
Immigrants who are eligible for DACA, but haven’t applied, will no longer be able to apply. The government won’t accept any applications for initial protection under DACA received after September 5.
Immigrants who have applied for DACA (or to renew their existing DACA protections) but are still waiting to hear back will have their applications processed just as they would have been in the past. They’re not guaranteed to get DACA even if they meet the criteria, but DHS has tended to approve qualified applicants.
Immigrants who currently have DACA, but whose protections will expire before March 5, 2018, will be able to apply for one last two-year DACA renewal — but they’ll have to apply by October 5, 2017. Applications received after that date won’t be approved. Applications received by October 5th will be processed as normal, and applicants who are approved for renewal will get new work permits eligible for two years beyond the renewal date.
Immigrants who currently have DACA, and whose protections are set to expire on or after March 6, 2018, will not be able to send in renewal applications (even if they apply for renewal before October 5). The expiration date currently on their work permit will be the day they lose it.
Work permits will be valid until the expiration date on the work permit. The March 5 “deadline” is about which DACA recipients are eligible to renew; it doesn’t affect current work permits or deportation protections.
DACA recipients will no longer be able to apply for “advance parole” to leave the US. Current grants of advance parole will remain valid. Pending applications for advance parole will be denied, but application fees will be refunded.
The government can still try to strip DACA from someone if they believe that he or she has violated its terms.
All of this could change if Congress manages to pass a bill that would protect DACA recipients, temporarily or permanently.
CORRECTION: This article originally said that applications to renew DACA that had already been submitted to USCIS would be rejected if the DACA recipient’s current protection is set to expire after March 5, 2018 (based on comments given by officials during a briefing call). The DHS website states that renewals submitted before September 5, 2017 will be processed. The author apologizes sincerely for her error.