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What Employers Need to Know about the Rescission of DACA

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program established by Executive Order during the Obama Administration that provided deportation relief and work authorization to certain undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.  The rescission will go into effect in stages over the next six months, with impacts covering the next few years.  

DACA employees with current valid employment authorization documents (EADs) will retain their period of deferred action and their EADs will remain valid until the current expiration date (generally two years from the date of issuance).  While no new applications for DACA will be accepted, employers may, however, see EADs that are issued after September 5, 2017, as initial applications filed and accepted by USCIS as of September 5, 2017, will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis and pending renewals of DACA and EAD authorizations will also be processed.  However, current DACA employees whose EAD cards will expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, must file applications for renewal by October 5, 2017. 

Once an individual’s DACA benefits expire, his or her case will not generally be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for enforcement purposes but any protections from deportation will be lost.

What does this means for employers?  DACA employees will remain employment-authorized throughout the validity period of their current EAD authorization, which is listed on the employees' Form I-9.  When such period ends, an employer should not treat a DACA employee any differently for the reverification process – simply contact them of the upcoming expiration and allow them to present any acceptable work authorization document.  Some DACA beneficiaries may have other options, including a new form of protection if Congress acts before their current employment authorization ends.

If you have employees with questions or concerns, the US Department of Homeland Security has provided as much information as is currently available on its webpage under Frequently Asked Questions: Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Amy Erlbacher-Anderson

 

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