Although President Trump has declined to renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, existing permit holders can still renew their status. If your DACA permit expires before March 5, 2018, the deadline to renew is this Thursday, Oct. 5.
Those who apply on time for renewal should be approved unless they don't meet the qualifications or have committed a crime. A DACA permit should still provide protection against deportation.
As we discussed on this blog at the time, President Trump decided to phase the program out over six months rather than end it abruptly. DACA's protections are to remain in place until then. In the meantime, Congress may be able to negotiate permanent protection for Dreamers.
For those who don't know, Dreamers are people who were brought to the U.S. without authorization as children. To qualify for DACA protection, for example, you had to have been brought to the States before your 16th birthday and be 30 or younger in 2012, when the program was started by executive order.
In addition, Dreamers have to have lived continuously in the U.S. since their arrival, have attended school, and have no criminal record.
Once a Dreamer is approved for the program, they receive temporary Social Security cards and work permits. Many states allow them to obtain driver's licenses, as well. If the DACA program expires without a fix, the Dreamers will lose their ability to work, any job-based benefits, access to school and, in many cases, their driving privileges. Plus, they will be under heavy threat of deportation.
The "most frustrating comment," says one immigration advocate, is when people ask why the Dreamers haven't "fixed their papers" in the time they've been in the United States.
"For the vast majority of people, there is no way," she points out. "For those who say, 'Get in line,' there is no line."