On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being withdrawn. In 2012, President Obama signed an executive order implementing the DACA program. The DACA program was established to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the United States when they were children from deportation and allowed them to receive employment authorization.
The withdrawal from DACA will be drawn out into multiple time periods. First, from September 5, 2017 to March 5, 2018, DACA will not be revoked for individuals who currently have a valid employment authorization card. Second, new DACA applications that were already submitted before the September 5, 2017 announcement will still be processed. However, applications received after September 5th will not be processed. Lastly, DACA individuals whose documentation expires within the next six months have until October 5, 2017, to apply for renewal.
These dates and deadlines are very important for employers. Once a DACA individual’s employment authorization expires, they will no longer be eligible to work in the United States. For the moment, employers can still employ DACA individuals that have valid Employment Authorization Documents. However, once those documents expire, the employer will be breaking the law by employing those individuals and should lay off those employees.
Employers should be proactive and review DACA employees’ documentation to see what the expiration dates are and advise those eligible employees to apply for renewal as soon as possible because after October 5, 2017, they will not be allowed to work in the United States anymore.
Information relating to DACA is changing day to day and we will provide updates on any legislative or executive progress.