PRESIDENT TRUMP STOPS DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
By Thomas W. Roach and Eamonn P.S. Roach, Attorneys
President Trump stopped the DACA program. What does that mean for those of us who have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program?
President Trump stopped the DACA program, but it will not come to an end until March 5, 2018, six months after the date that he announced that he was ending the program. Although the DACA program has been stopped, those who are presently in DACA status will continue to be in DACA status until their status expires, which is the expiration date on their Work Permit.
What will happen next?
There are three things that could happened next:
- Congress does nothing and the program expires on March 5th, 2018 and everyone who has Deferred Action status will again be here illegally on the date that their status and work permit expires.
- Congress can pass in the House and the Senate the proposals to make the DACA program law rather than an Executive Order, which it presently is.
- If Congress does not act, President Trump can, if he chooses, continue the DACA program as an Executive Order, just like President Obama did.
What do you think is likely to happen?
I hope Congress addresses the DACA issue, which is where the issue should have been addressed in the first place. Because Congress refused to act on the matter, President Obama created the DACA program though an Executive Order. However, the proper place of creation of significant programs, like DACA, is in the Congress.
Do you believe Congress will pass the DACA program into law?
It’s difficult to say. The DACA program is very popular with the American voters; 80-85% are in favor of allowing the students who qualify for DACA to obtain legal status in the United States. Something like 90% of US Citizens who are Democrats and 70% of US Citizens who are Republicans are in favor of changing the DACA program from an Executive Order into law.
Is passing the DACA program into law a complicated process?
No, in fact, it’s very simple. The DACA program, or the Dream Act, has been in Congress since 2001. The Senators and the Congressmen know and understand this program. If they wanted to pass this, they could pass it into law in one week’s time.
If the DACA program is not passed into law by the Congress, are there other options for those who have DACA status?
Yes. If a person who holds DACA status is married to a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, there is a process by which that person can obtain Green Card status through their marriage to a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident holder. If you are married to a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, you should consult with a competent immigration attorney to discuss the process.
Thomas W. Roach and Eamonn P.S. Roach are attorneys of the firm Roach & Bishop, LLP in Pasco, Washington, who practice immigration law. This information does not constitute legal advice. It is possible that this information does not apply to you. Each case depends on specific facts. If you have questions regarding the immigration laws that you would like answered in this column, please send them to: Thomas W. Roach and Eamonn P.S. Roach, 9221 Sandifur Pkwy, Suite C., Pasco, WA 99301, phone: (509) 547-7587, fax: (509) 547-7745; or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.