DHS Memo on DACA and DAPA signed by Secretary Kelly

The fate of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) is now clear. Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, signed a memorandum rescinding the program.   Originally authorized in November 2014, and thought to potentially benefit as many as 3.6 million undocumented immigrants, DAPA was doomed from the start. Before the first application could be submitted, a Texas court halted the program.  DAPA and DACA became part of a legal dispute ultimately stretching all the way to the US Supreme Court where the injunction was upheld.  Stating that “there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy” yesterday’s memo essentially death a death blow to DAPA.

The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is less clear. Based on the same memo, DHS will continue to shield such immigrants from deportation for the time being and will be able to renew the DACA status.  The validity of existing employment authorization cards will continue through their current expiration dates.  Ongoing work authorization after expiration is uncertain.

President Trump made repeated campaign promises to end the program immediately upon taking office.  Advocacy groups responded by spotlighting the empathic nature of Dreamers, who typically through no fault of their own, were brought to the US as small children.

Also rescinded was expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years.