One of 2017’s top immigration changes took place when President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. This program protects children who were unlawfully brought to the U.S. from deportation and legal issues. Without it, thousands of residents would be susceptible to deportation.
As soon as officials declared the end of DACA, lawsuits rapidly sprung up across the country. So many lawsuits, in fact, that a judge has now postponed the decision from going into effect until they have enough time to resolve. DACA recipients have anywhere between six months to two and a half years (depending on their authorization expiration date) until their protection officially ends.
California lawsuits between recipients and the federal government argue that ending this program would create chaos. Namely, DACA recipients and their families would face “undue hardship” from deportation. This termination affects college students, for example, whose loans and education seriously impact their lives. The host of legal actions shows that the Trump administration may have acted too hastily.
DACA recipients can pursue other options should these lawsuits fail to change the program’s current outlook. Some recipients may be able to graduate from DACA to become green card holders through their family or careers.
However, it may be difficult and time-consuming to obtain green cards, especially given the sheer volume of recipients who could collectively flood USCIS with applications. Few recipients may qualify for permanent or temporary immigrant status. Due to the difficult nature of obtaining green cards as well as the shifting political sands, DACA recipients may wish to consult an immigration attorney regarding their opportunities.