What You Need to Know About Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

The courts have blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—for now. That means that hundreds of thousands of people who receive their work authorization through DACA will continue to be able to renew their status while the cases make their way through the legal system. This page includes essential information to help unions and their members understand the current situation and take steps to protect people’s rights at work. Here’s what you need to know:

DACA renewals will continue until further notice.

Although the Trump administration has announced its intent to terminate the DACA program, the courts have enjoined that decision while they consider whether the administration followed necessary protocol in ending the program. As a result, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must continue to process DACA renewal applications until the courts decide otherwise.

Workers need to take timely steps for renewal.

Workers with DACA can and should apply to renew their status, and employers should not take any adverse action against these workers. DACA recipients all have different dates that their work permits expire.  They should be clear on their deadline and prepared to file for renewal between 150 and 120 days before the expiration date on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  Because the window for renewals is uncertain, workers should apply as early as possible.

Unions have a key role to play.

Working people with DACA need to know that the union has their back during this extremely difficult time. Unions should be informed about the issue, provide information and support to their members, and engage in the fight for legislative solutions.

The process remains unchanged.

Although the steps remain the same, this may well be the final opportunity DACA recipients have to apply for renewal, so they should prepare thoroughly. They will need to file the relevant application forms with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and pay the $495 fee to renew their work authorization. This packet includes helpful materials to share with workers explaining how to renew DACA status.

DACA recipients should face no immediate impact at work.

Employers should not ask workers about whether they have DACA status, and workers need not explain why they have to renew an EAD.  Employers should not and need not reverify work authorization documents of individuals simply based on the administration’s DACA announcement. Employers are, however, required to reverify work authorization documents upon their expiration. At such time, workers should simply present copies of their renewed EAD.