A day after Labor Day, President Trump’s Administration announced the withdrawal of DACA (known as Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) program. DACA generally involves supplying undocumented individuals some relief if they arrived in the US before the age of 16 and meet other requirements. While DACA defers any deportation in specific circumstances, it also permits the recipient to work in the US with a work authorization.
In the US, an employer is prohibited from employing a person not authorized to work in the US. The withdrawal ultimately results in the loss of the DACA employee’s work authorization.
While the withdrawal effects nearly 700,000 DACA employees in the US, it also affects their employers. It is predicted about 30,400 DACA recipients will lose their work authorizations each month under the planned withdrawal.
The effects of DACA winding down are major concerns for DACA recipients but soon employers will be addressing the loss of DACA employees. Addressing the issues now, positions an employer to minimize the impact of DACA ending. Employers and DACA employees should also seek counsel from an attorney with DACA and employment law experience.
The Public Broadcast Station (“PBS”) affiliate, Smokey Hills Public Television, recently invited Attorney, Trinidad Galdean, as a speaker on immigration legal updates. The other guests included Finney County Sherriff Kevin Bascue and El Perico Journalist, Marco Alcocer. The Hosts, Harold Orosco and Celia Earl, covered various topics and questions which concern for many communities and individuals related to immigration.
Trinidad discussed the evolution of immigration laws and changes leading the current immigration enforcement. With Trinidad’s background with business-employment matters, he also discussed the implication of immigration issues for employers, businesses, and farmers.
Any individual, business, or community with concerns over the immigration changes needs to become better informed. This PBS program helped to provide some information and answer the public’s concerns.
Smoky Hills PBS
Galdean Law Firm
Spanish speaking clients and business owners frequently seek out attorney Trinidad Galdean, due to his experience in immigration issues and his ability to address their needs in Spanish. Trinidad utilizes his Spanish speaking ability to assist clients and employers on visa applications and other immigration related matters. It is important for all clients to understand legal issues in their primary language. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently started a Spanish blog, USCIS Compás, to inform Spanish speaking individuals regarding immigration issues. The USCIS also created a Facebook page, USCIS Español, to provide additional immigration information in Spanish. While these resources are helpful, individuals and business owners should still consider consulting an experienced immigration attorney when dealing with matters of immigration law.
Last week, a Federal Judge in Texas ordered an injunction to stop the President’s Executive Order on immigration which was issued on November 2014. This injunction, however, only affects the Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. (DAPA). The Court’s injunction does not affect those already approved for DACA. Thus, individuals with approved DACA documentation would still need to address any renewal.
Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) proceeded to file an appeal to hold off on the injunction. In the alternative, the DOJ requested that the injunction only apply to Texas and not each State. In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has postponed accepting applications for expanded DACA. DHS, however, confirmed individuals qualifying under the original DACA may still submit an application.
Considering the developments with DACA and DAPA, individuals and entities focused on DACA or DAPA should address any issues with competent immigration attorneys.
I gave one of my first news interviews in Spanish with the Spanish news channel of Univision on the immigration issues involving Expanded DACA and DAPA. These immigration issues will become even more important for individuals and employers when applications on the programs can be filed on Feb. 18. More information is needed to assist individuals and employers on these issues and their positive impact.
I had a pleasant interview with @KWCH12 and Reporter Beatriz Parres @KDCUBea on the immigration issues surrounding DACA and DAPA. The interest in this immigration actions has been from both individuals and by employers. Employers see DACA and DAPA as an opportunity to retain talent or attract experienced talent in particular areas and industries. Look for the interview on KWCH 12 (in English) and on Univision Kansas (in Spanish) tonight.
Plans continue in the Government’s efforts to prepare and handle the application process for expanded DACA and DAPA. While immigration offices will begin accepting expanded DACA applications Feb. 18, the Administration has not waited for the Republican’s blocking efforts to play out. The Administration has proceeded to secure office space and planning for new employees to assist with the application process. According to the Administration, the money paying for the program is from the application fees. It is expected that expanded DACA makes 300,000 more individuals eligible. It is expected DAPA will have approximately an additional 800,000 more applications when applications begin to be accepted (anticipated date for DAPA applications mid-May 2015).
USCIS announced it will begin accepting petitions for Expanded DACA on Feb. 18, 2015. HR Professionals and employers can expect an increase of employees looking to change employers that will now be legally authorized to work with the Employment Authorization Document available under DACA. Employees which worked without proper authorization will now have an opportunity to find new and better employment opportunities. DACA and Expanded DACA increases Immigrant’s ability to switch employers. Additionally, this immigration action provides for an expansion of talent available for particular jobs or in particular areas. Employers looking to prepare for changes under Expanded DACA should inquire with experienced immigration/employment counsel.
Individuals and businesses affected by the Immigration Reform from the Executive Order will be looking to a Texas Court as it addresses a pending lawsuit brought by various states. The case is set for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 15, 2015. See the attached for likely scenarios that can arise from the Texas case. Scenarios of Pending Cases on DACA and DAPA (1-13-2015)
For employers, the immigration changes under the President’s Executive Order can enlarge the talent for a particular workforce. Specifically, the immigration changes will provide work authorization for individuals who have been in the US but never changed jobs due to their illegal immigration status. DACA and DAPA will now enable these individuals to easily work anywhere in the US. Workers working in a particular industry for one employer may now how more opportunity to work with another employer. Employers needing talent and experience in a particular area now may see an increase of individuals willing to changes employers.
Some of these changes are expected to begin around mid-February 2015 while others are expected in May. For now, the USCIS is still working on the logistics and the application process. Employers and employees should seek out experienced immigration-employment counsel on these issues. See the attached link to the Fact Sheet from USCIS on the application process for DACA and DAPA.