DACA Renewal Period Expires
Legislative Update By: Liz Jacobs
The Trump administration will not be accepting any more Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal applications, marking the end of the first phase of the wind down of President Obama’s unlawful amnesty program. (Washington Examiner, Oct. 3, 2017) Rather than abruptly ending the program, President Trump established a phase out plan for the work permit program over the next two years. (White House Statement, Sept. 5, 2017). DACA recipients with a work permit set to expire before March 5, 2018 had the opportunity to apply for a two-year renewal if they applied by October 5.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that only 77% percent of DACA recipients eligible for renewal under the phase out guidelines submitted applications to remain in the program. (Washington Examiner, Oct. 3, 2017) USCIS is currently adjudicating these applications, which total over 106,000 of the 154,200 eligible DACA recipients whose status expires between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. (Id.) It is unclear, however, how many of the 48,000 DACA recipients who chose not to file for renewal have received other forms of relief from the government, such as advance parole.
The DACA program was unilaterally created by President Obama in 2012 to defer deportation and grant work permits to illegal aliens who arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, in addition to meeting other criteria. (Napolitano Memo, June 15, 2012) While DACA recipients were minors when they entered the United States, the overwhelming majority of DACA recipients are in their 20s and 30s. (Department of Homeland Security FAQ, Sept. 5, 2017) DACA recipients’ ages range from 15-36, and the average DACA recipient is 23 years old. (Id.) The DACA program currently has approximately 690,000 illegal alien beneficiaries. (Department of Homeland Security FAQ, Sept. 5, 2017)
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will recognize DACA work permits until they expire at the end of their two-year lifespans, meaning the program will run out at different times for different recipients. (NBC News, Sept. 5, 2017) The last work permits would expire on March 5, 2020. (Id.)