Phase-out of DACA – What Employers Need to Know


Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on September 5, 2017 that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be phased out as of March 5, 2018. DHS issued a memo and FAQs in connection with the announcement. Here's key information employers need to know:

What does this mean for current DACA recipients?

Current recipients will be able to work until the expiration of their current employment authorization document (EAD). If the EAD expires after March 5, 2018, employers should be aware that DHS might terminate that EAD at any time. If eligible for an extension, current DACA recipients must file by October 5, 2017 to receive an extension through March 5, 2018.

What does this mean for individuals seeking to apply for DACA for the first time?

USCIS will not process DACA applications for new applicants received after September 5, 2017. Pending applications received on September 5, 2017 or earlier will still be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What about advance parole?

USCIS will not approve pending I-131s related to DACA and will refund fees. USCIS will not accept new I-131s filed related to DACA. Currently valid advance parole will "generally" be honored for the stated validity period.

Is there a grace period for DACA recipients after March 5, 2018?

No. USCIS states that a DACA recipient whose EAD expires "is no longer considered lawfully present in the United States and is not authorized to work."

How can I advocate for a solution?

Congress has six months to act to save the DACA program. CFGI and SHRM issued a press release today urging Congress to do so and will be advocating in the coming months for a solution. If you would like to help out with CFGI's advocacy, please contact Rebecca Peters and Justin Storch.