Updated January 17, 2017 1:00 p.m.
We will continue to update this DACA fact sheet as more details emerge. Check back for the latest updates from the Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs.
BREAKING NEWS: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS DACA CANCELLATION
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF DACA?
On September 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cancelled DACA. This action gave current DACA recipients until October 5, 2017 to renew applications set to expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. If you missed this deadline, you were no longer able to renew your DACA status. Also, if your DACA had expired prior to September 5, 2017, you were no longer allowed to renew it. And DHS stopped accepting new DACA applications altogether. Click HERE for more information about DACA’s cancellation.
On January 9, 2018, a federal judge from California temporarily blocked DACA’s cancellation. On February 13, 2018, another federal judge from New York also issued similar ruling. This means that if you had DACA prior to its cancellation, you can renew it. But you should act fast as possible since the judges’ order may change at any time.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO DACA AFTER MARCH 5, 2018?
At this time, DACA will remain the same due to the federal judges’ ruling from California and New York with the following two exceptions:
- No new DACA application – You cannot apply for DACA if you have never had DACA previously
- No advance parole – You cannot apply to travel outside of the United States
I HAVE OR HAD DACA. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- I had DACA but it expired on or after September 5, 2016 and I didn’t renew it: Renew it now by submitting Form I-821D to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and make sure to check the “Renewal Request”
- I had DACA and submitted a renewal application on or after September 5, 2016, but it was rejected: Resubmit Form I-821D to CIS now.
- I had DACA but it expired before September 5, 2016: Reapply now by submitting Form I-821D to CIS. Make sure to check the “Initial Request” box.
- I never applied for DACA even though I think I qualify: The judge’s ruling does not apply to new applications. Please do not send a new application.
- My DACA status is current: Make sure you renew it as soon as you are eligible to renew, which CIS recommends you do 120 – 150 days before your status expires.
- I need to travel outside the United States: The judge’s ruling does not allow you to travel outside the country (Advance Parole). Do not travel abroad.
- I need help with my DACA application and to find out if I qualify for any other immigration relief: Many legal aid agencies provide DACA assistance. If you live in the County of Los Angeles, check this LIST for agencies that can help you for free or at low cost. If you live outside the LA County, check this LIST provided by the California Department of Social Services for free or low-cost legal aid services throughout California. If you live outside California, check this LIST from the U.S. Department of Justice that has legal aid services throughout the country. Remember, you can always consult an immigration attorney if you have access to one.
- Watch out for FRAUD: Avoid fraudulent and inexperienced individuals who charge you fees for services and promises that may harm your immigration case. Check out this PAGE on our website for more information on how to detect, avoid, and report immigration fraud.
This information is provided by your County of Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs, a County government agency that protects the rights, and promotes the success, of all immigrants in Los Angeles County. Continue checking oia.lacounty.gov for up-to-date info on immigration news. You can also call us toll-free at (800) 593-8222.
For more news, follow @LAC4Immigrants on Twitter.
November 16, 2017 Update: Refer to our latest article What To Do If Your DACA Renewal Was Affected By Postal Service Delays.
The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs hosted a LIVE Chat on Monday, September 25th, 2017. For information on upcoming LIVE chats click here.
WHAT IS DACA?
In June 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. The program provides qualifying individuals:
- Permission to Stay – DACA provides permission for individuals to live, work and study in the U.S. DACA benefits last for two years, and can be renewed.
- Opportunity to Renew – DACA can be renewed every two years. You cannot age-out of the DACA program.
- Benefits – DACA recipients can apply for a work permit and get a social security number and driver’s license.
Even though DACA grants lawful presence in the United States, it will NOT change your immigration status and is NOT a pathway to citizenship. DACA benefits do not extend to family members and can be terminated at any time.
On Sept. 5, 2017, DHS announced that after September 5, 2017, no new DACA applications will be accepted. DACA recipients whose benefits expire before March 5, 2018 may apply for renewals, but renewal applications are due by Oct. 5, 2017. For all other DACA recipients, benefits will end at the end of the current two-year period, unless Congress passes a new law.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE DACA ENDS:
On September 5, 2017, DHS announced an end to the DACA program, with limited opportunity for renewal of current benefits. This document provides general information, and legal questions should be directed to an attorney. The Office of Immigrant Affairs can assist you with finding free or low-cost immigration advice.
1. New DACA Applications or Renewals
- After September 5, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not accept new DACA applications.
- If you are a DACA recipient and your benefits expire before March 5, 2018, the USCIS will accept renewal applications, but only until October 5, 2017.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has advised that it will not target DACA recipients or applicants for renewal for enforcement. However, before submitting your renewal application you should consult with an immigration attorney if you have had any criminal convictions while receiving DACA benefits. For a list of legal and financial resources click here.
Note that any criminal record may put you at risk with immigration authorities. You should discuss your individual circumstances with an experienced immigration attorney before you decide whether to renew your DACA.
2. Risk of Deportation
A 2012 Executive Order granted DACA recipients “deferred action” from deportation. This means that a DACA recipient was deferred from removal action based on discretionary prosecutorial authority. Revoking DACA implies that DACA recipients will be treated in the same manner as all other undocumented immigrants. It does not necessarily mean that DACA recipients will be prioritized for deportation. However, the Administration has stated that it is prioritizing for removal anyone convicted of a crime or otherwise posing a threat to public safety.
3. Work Permit
The employment authorization document (EAD) does not currently indicate that it was granted as a result of DACA. Therefore, an EAD should be valid until its expiration date.
If the DACA program ends but you are allowed to keep your work permit, you have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired.
Please contact the Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs if you believe that your employer has discriminated or retaliated against you due to your immigration status.
4. Social Security Number (SSN)
If you have not applied for a social security number, you should do so immediately while your DACA and work permit are still valid. You may continue to use your SSN obtained under DACA for educational, banking, and housing purposes, even if DACA expires or is revoked. Your SSN cannot be used for employment purposes without a valid work permit.
5. Driver’s License and State ID
California Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60) allows you to apply for a California Driver’s License, even if your DACA expires or is revoked. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will grant you a Driver’s License if you meet their requirements regardless of your immigration status. Visit the DMV website for details on how to obtain a Driver’s License under AB 60: dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/ab60.
6. Travel on Advance Parole
Advance parole is a permit to allow someone who does not have a valid immigrant visa to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. If you are currently traveling out of the country on advance parole, consider returning to the United States immediately. If you have already been granted advance parole and have not left the United States, or if you are currently considering applying for advance parole, consult with an attorney about the risk of being denied re-entry to the United States before you travel abroad.
7. Medical Coverage
Currently, there are no changes to the Medi-Cal program for DACA recipients. DACA recipients will continue to receive full-scope, state-funded Medi-Cal as long as they otherwise meet all Medi-Cal eligibility requirements.
8. Student Financial Aid
If you are receiving state-funded financial aid while attending California colleges, you will not lose your financial aid. Stated-funded financial aid was made available to DACA recipients based on the California Dream Act. Regardless of DACA status, the California Dream Act will remain intact. The California Student Aid Commission will not share your personal information with the federal government or immigration enforcement agencies.
WHO WAS ELIGIBLE FOR DACA?
DACA was available to individuals who:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying for DACA;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
- For more details on eligibility requirements visit the USCIS’s Frequently Asked Questions page or consult with an attorney.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR OR RENEW DACA?
After September 5, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not accept new DACA applications. If you are a DACA recipient and your benefits expire before March 5, 2018, the USCIS will accept renewal applications, but only until October 5, 2017.
If you choose to renew, here is what you need to do:
- Collect documents (e.g., school records, medical records, financial records, employment records, military records) as evidence that you meet the requirements.
- Visit the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to download and print the forms for deferred action and work authorization.
- Complete and mail the completed forms to USCIS with the necessary fees. Current fees are listed on this Fee Exemption Guidance for DACA. Your application must be received by USCIS by October 5, 2017. Applications that are postmarked but not received by October 5, 2017 will be rejected.
- Visit your local USCIS Application Support Center for a scheduled biometrics services appointment. Find your local office with the USCIS Office Locator.
- Check the status of your request online at USCIS’s website.
LEGAL REPRESENTATION, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, OTHER RESOURCES
1.L.A. Justice Fund:
The L.A. Justice Fund is a partnership among Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and the philanthropic community and was created to provide legal representation to Los Angeles County residents who cannot afford an attorney and who are facing imminent deportation. In September 2017, we will announce the legal aid agencies receiving L.A. Justice Fund grants to represent immigrants on our OIA website an LA Justice Resource Directory.
In the meantime, and in the event you don’t qualify for L.A. Justice Fund representation, you should contact the agencies on this list of pro-bono legal service providers for free or low-cost immigration advice.
2.Know Your Rights
Everyone, documented or undocumented, is entitled to certain rights in the United States:
- RIGHT TO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR, unless the immigration agent has a warrant to enter that is signed by a judge or magistrate and has your name on it.
- RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT and not answer questions from immigration agents.
- RIGHT NOT TO SIGN ANY PAPERS without first talking to an attorney.
- RIGHT TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY at your own expense.
3.Other Resources and Information
The Los Angeles County departments listed below may have additional helpful information.
- Information regarding reduction, dismissal or expungement of previous criminal convictions (post-conviction review)
- Copy of your child support payment records
- Copy of your file if you were under their care
- Assistance with immigration fraud complaints
- Records of consumer complaints you filed with the department
- Copy of your case records
- Assistance and resources for victims of domestic violence
- School enrollment and attendance records
- Verification of graduation
- Copy of your medical records
- Letter to verify your visits to its facilities
- Birth records
- Copy of your mental health records
- Letter to verify your visits to its mental health clinics
- Copy of your military records
- Information regarding reduction, dismissal or expungement of previous criminal convictions (post-conviction review)
- Copy of your medical records
- Copy of Immunization records
- Verification of library visits record at no cost
- Copy of your case records and information about DPSS programs that DACA recipients may qualify for
- Marriage license
- Birth certificate
- Property tax payment records
- Records of your visits or participation at County community centers
AVOID IMMIGRATION FRAUD:
Dishonest immigration consultants often defraud consumers by charging fees for illegal or misleading services including giving legal advice, claiming to have inside “connections” or saying they know special laws. Consumers who deal with these people often lose their money and can hurt their chances to adjust their immigration status. Immigration consultants may include: “notarios”, paralegals or anyone offering immigration-related services. No matter what they call themselves, immigration consultants must follow the law.