Empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals
November 11, 2016
Dear E4FC Family, It has been a rough few days and, to be honest, we are still getting our bearings, but here are some important things we want you to know right now:
WE ARE HERE TO STAY
We are absolutely steadfast in our belief that undocumented young people are a beautiful, vibrant force in our U.S. culture, economy and society. No matter what happens during the next administration, E4FC will continue to empower undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional, and policy transformation.Undocumented young people are here to stay, and so are we.
WHAT WE KNOW NOW
DACA will likely end once Trump becomes President
President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) when he becomes President. However, he will not become President until he is inaugurated on January 20, 2017, so meanwhile DACA will remain in place and USCIS will continue processing both initial and renewal DACA requests.
We do not knowwhenorhowthe Trump administration will end the DACA program. It could end the program effective immediately and instantly revoke work permits, or it could allow current DACA recipients to keep their work permits until they expire but not renew them.
Initial DACA applications shouldnotbe submitted
We donotrecommend that someone apply for DACA as a first-time applicant, since first-time DACA applications are not likely to be processed before the next administration takes office and new applicants may be unnecessarily be exposing themselves to the Department of Homeland Security.
Renewal DACA applicationsshouldbe submitted (if within 180 days of expiration)
Since existing DACA recipients are already known to the government, renewal applications will not pose new or additional risks to recipients. If the Trump administration allows DACA recipients to keep their work permits, then a new DACA renewal would mean a work permit for nearly two more years.
However, given current DACA processing times, there is a possibility that a new DACA renewal application may not be approved before the new administration takes office, in which case the paid application fee would most likelynotbe returned.
Please note: Beginning December 23, 2016, the DACA renewal fee will increase to $495.
DACA recipients should consider Advance Parole (Travel Abroad)with caution
DACA recipients who last entered the U.S. without inspection (without permission) could benefit later in life if they successfully depart the U.S. and return with Advance Parole, particularly through a petition filed by a U.S. Citizen parent, spouse or adult child. Therecouldstill be time for such travel to be completed before the new administration takes office (January 20, 2017), but prospective travellers should be properly screenedbeforeleaving the U.S. to ensure they are likely to be able to re-enter.
Unfortunately, it could be risky for DACA recipients to be physically outside the U.S. (even with Advance Parole) on or after January 20, 2017. Therefore, we recommend that DACA recipients who are abroad now with Advance Parole (or those who plan to be) get legal advice about whether to change their travel plans. WHAT OUR COMMUNITY CAN DO NOW
Get screened for other immigration options
Many undocumented immigrants may be eligible for one or more existing immigration options. In fact, a recentstudyfound that 14.3% of DACA recipients are eligible for another form of immigration relief.
We encourage people to go to reputable attorneys and nonprofit organizations—including E4FC's free, onlineDreamer Intake Service—for an "immigration check-up" to see if they qualify for any immigration options that offer work permits and more stable immigration status in the U.S. (such as U-visas for crime victims, T-visas for trafficking victims, or special immigrant juvenile status for youth who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent) or more permanent immigrant status (such as a green card through a family member).
As more details emerge about the Trump administration's plans and priorities, we will be releasing detailed, timely information and guidance throughresources, webinars, andin-person presentations.
We will also be creating in-person and online healing spaces for E4FC family members to come together; share our hopes, disappointment, grief, and confusion; and process what this election means to us. Now more than ever, we stand with undocumented young people. We applaud you. We thank you. We are committed to you.