- If you have never filed for DACA, it's too late, as of today. You'll have to find another way to stay. There may be options depending on your particular history, so seek counsel.
- If you are filing for renewal of DACA, you have until Oct 5 to get your application in. You can only renew if your DACA expires on/before Mar 5, 2018. If your DACA expires after that, you will not be able to renew.
- There is a new standard: even DACA renewals accepted by USCIS will be adjudicated on a "case by case" basis. I expect this to mean more arbitrary denials. Just because you file it correctly doesn't mean you'll get the renewal.
- If granted, renewals will be for the full 2 year period.
- No more advance parole for DACA holders. This closes the ability to travel, reenter, and apply for a green card (for those familiar: no more "DACAbally." This applies to advance parole requests that are pending as of today, 5 Sep 2017.
- If you have DACA, and it's approved, it may not be terminated based on today's announcements, but it still can be terminated for any other reason.
This is every bit the narrative expected from the likes of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III. Trump delegated the task of rescinding DACA to his AG, who isn't supposed to dictate policy. And his presser was filled with omissions and falsehoods that belie the real impetus for today's shameful action.
- Sessions again repeated the white nationalist battle cry that immigrants are to be feared, and "we can't admit everybody" and those we do admit should "assimilate" (as opposed to integrate) - a clear nod to the ill-conceived RAISE Act. Yet he supposedly is waiting for Congress to do something to admit the 800,000 Dreamers anyway.
- Just like he did in his confirmation hearing, Sessions said the law must be enforced. But the law itself gives wide discretion to immigration officers. The ramped up deportations without regard to criminal history is testament to this. I suspect this is what he meant when he said his officers are now "inspired." Apparently the slow death of DACA is the "compassionate" way to do things - the new buzzword being an "orderly winding down" of a supposedly illegal program. The 6 month period will make it more difficult to obtain an injunction halting the rescission - but let's hope I'm wrong about that.
- Separation of powers: It is frightening that the head of the US Department of Justice does not understand our system of government. He says the President (Obama) had no authority to temporarily shield whole classes of immigrants from deportation. Yet President (Trump) has unbridled authority to ban classes of immigrants and deport them. Sessions can't have it both ways. If he had a problem with the way DACA was rolled out, then roll it out properly instead of rescinding it. If DACA is illegal no matter how it was rolled out, then *so is the travel ban.*
- The 5th Circuit did indeed rule that DAPA (which was similar to DACA) was probably an excess. But let me say this clearly: the Supreme Court has *never* ruled that DAPA was unconstitutional. Let's also remember that a lawsuit to shut down DACA would go before the very same judge Hanen who shut down DAPA in the first place. Hanen is far from a neutral arbiter, and I don't make that statement lightly.
- The supposed legislative fix. Sessions conveniently left out something that should have been made very clear: Congress has had since 2001 to find a solution for Dreamers and have failed. Now, they're supposed to get their act together in the next 6 months. The implication - and perhaps expectation - is that nothing will happen, and all Dreamers will lose their ability to work, be arbitrarily labeled a "public threat" under Trump's March 6 executive order, and be put in line for deportation.
- Lest it be forgotten, this is textbook bad faith. Coax immigrants to come out of the shadows with promises of a work permit and no deportation, get their information, and then use it against them. I am not blaming Obama's administration for DACA - but it was always meant to be a stop-gap measure. And the very same Congressmen now clamoring for the "rule of law" are the ones who stonewalled every single attempted legislative fix.
What can you do?
Use your citizenship. Please follow these steps:
Type in your address. Get your congressmens' contact info. Then CALL them ON THE PHONE and tell them:
- You want to see them #DefendDACA publicly, and strongly denounce the administration's cruel treatment of 800,000 young immigrants who know no other home. You will use your vote to speak for those who have none.
- Ask them whether they will support the #DreamAct and a path to citizenship.
If you can't get through, keep calling. If you have no more time to try to get through, visit their webpage and at least send in an email.
Remember - revoking DACA comes from a place of hatred and exclusion, not respect for the law. By advocating for change, you are actually standing up for our Constitution and promoting respect for the law.