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The End of DACA - What Now?

Posted by Christopher Keen | Sep 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the possible cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as “DACA”, since Donald Trump became President in January of this year. Today in a brief news conference, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA would indeed be cancelled. Because DACA has been cancelled, advance parole under the DACA program has also been affected. In a memorandum, Elaine Duke, the acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, has outlined how the cancellation will be carried out by the Trump Administration.

First, how will the cancellation affect those who have approved DACA and those who have DACA applications pending? Below are listed categories of individuals and how DACA will be affected given their current DACA status:

Individuals who have initial DACA Applications Pending:

For any individual who has never had DACA, but has submitted an application before September 5, 2107, their DACA applications will be reviewed as normal, and may be approved. If their DACA applications are approved they may be granted DACA and work authorization for a two year period, however under the cancellation they will not be able to renew their DACA once it expires.

For those individuals who do not currently have DACA and who have not applied and have an application pending as of September 5, 2017, even though they may be eligible for DACA they may not apply. A person who has never had DACA and applies after September 5, 2017 will have their application denied. 

Individuals who Have DACA and Need to Renew: 

Only certain individuals who already have DACA may renew their DACA. Only individuals whose DACA will expire on or before March 5, 2018 may file to renew their DACA's. For individuals in that category, they must file a renewal application and have a receipt notice dated no later than October 5, 2017 or their applications for renewal will be denied. For individuals who renew it is still anticipated that they will have their DACA's renewed for two additional years.

Those individuals whose DACA will expire after March 5, 2018 are not able to renew and their work authorization will no longer be valid after the date of expiration.

What are your Options after DACA is Cancelled?

Many people are concerned as to what their immigration options are after DACA is cancelled, and whether or

not they will be targeted by ICE for deportation.

Individuals with DACA still may have some viable immigration options to remain in the United States. For example, having DACA halts any unlawful presence in the United States. That means that a variety of work and student visas may be available for certain individuals with DACA who obtained DACA before they turned 18. Additionally, many DACA recipients have married United States citizens or permanent residents and may have options to gain status through those marriages. These are just a few of the potential options for individuals with DACA. For further options or more details on these options you may contact our law office.

Also it is, as of yet unclear as to whether ICE will be pursuing individuals with DACA, especially those with prior orders of deportation and criminal convictions. We recommend that individuals with DACA who have prior orders of deportation or criminal convictions speak to us about their options should they be placed into removal proceedings.

Advance Parole:

As has been mentioned, advance parole is also affected by the new policies implemented by the Trump Administration. There are many individuals with DACA who have advance parole, who have applications for advance parole pending, and who wish to apply for advance parole. Below are listed each category and how advance parole will be applied to DACA recipients as of September 5, 2017.

DACA Recipients with Approved Advance Parole Applications:

Where a DACA recipient has an approved application for advance parole, that individual may still travel outside of the United States with advanced parole. The new policies released by the Trump Administration should not interrupt that travel, and Customs and Border Patrol have been advised to allow DACA recipients with approved advance parole on or before September 5, 2017 to reenter the United States.

DACA Recipients with Pending Advance Parole Applications:

A DACA recipient who has an advance parole application pending will not be approved for advance parole. All DACA recipients with advance parole petitions pending will have their applications administratively closed, or in other words cancelled, and their fees returned. Those with advance parole applications pending after September 5, 2017 should expect to have their applications cancelled and fees returned.

DACA Recipients who wish to Apply Advance Parole:

DACA recipients who wish to apply for advance parole will not be able to do so, and should not try to apply because those applications will not be accepted.


Although many DACA holders may be extremely worried without a replacement for DACA, there are soem things you can do.  We will be posting articles explaining your options.  One article discusses options for those who obtained DACA before turning 18.  More to come.  

If you have any questions or concerns about the cancellation of DACA and Advance Parole please contact our office at 801-374-5336.

About the Author

Christopher Keen

As the founding attorney for Keen Law Offices, LLC, J. Christopher Keen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Brigham Young University. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Since that time, he has been admitted to practice before all of the state courts in Utah.


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