The Public Law Center had a DACA information session held by attorneys Josie Roberto and Precious Odum on Wednesday, Feb. 26 to update students on the possibilities on what can ensue before June.
DACA is an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is a program, created by the Obama administration in 2012 meant to protect those who were illegally brought to the United States as children by their parents from deportation. Most of which only know the United States to be their home.
To qualify, recipients must meet certain criteria, one of them being having no criminal record. If they qualify, they are given permission to work, study, obtain a driver’s license and a Real ID.
In 2017 the Trump administration announced to terminate DACA, but lower courts have kept it going. It is now being sent to the Supreme Court to decide.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide by June 2020 on whether the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA was lawful.
During the DACA information session held on campus, Roberto discussed that first, the Supreme Court will decide if the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA can be reviewed at all by the courts. If so, the Supreme Court will then decide if the government’s decision to end DACA was legal.
There are some possible outcomes that can occur:
1. The Supreme Court can rule that they cannot review the government’s decision to terminate DACA.
-This would mean the courts have no jurisdiction. DACA renewals would no longer be accepted and DACA would expire at the end of the two-year work permit. However, it is an election year and a future administration can choose to reinstate DACA.
2. DACA wins, which would mean the Supreme Court decided it was unlawful for the Trump administration to terminate DACA.
-Therefore, renewals can continue, new applications will be accepted and recipients can also apply for advance parole which means DACA recipients can travel outside the country.
3. The Supreme Court can rule that the Trump administration’s decision was lawful, and it is up to the Trump administration to decide how they will move forward.
DACA recipients are at risk of losing their jobs if they no longer have a legal work permit to work in the United States. Approximately 700,000 DACA recipients are at risk of being back where they were in 2012, before the Obama administration introduced DACA, and lose their protection.
“DACA has redefined my life. I’ve been able to make friends, obtain work and build my life; It’s been my backbone. It’s a numb feeling having to live every day not knowing what can happen,” said DACA student, Vanessa, who held back tears discussing what DACA has meant to her.
DACA recipients should renew their applications as soon as possible to get the most time possible on their work permits. DACA students can call their consulate to determine if there is any funding to pay for the $495 renewal fee.
Roberto recommends that any undocumented person should consult with an immigration attorney to explore their options for citizenship, since every case differs.
Melissa Valdovinos, the Cadena Program Assistant for the Grads to Be Program stated they host legal aid clinics for DACA recipients or undocumented students. They get a one-hour consultation with an immigration attorney. Students will have two more opportunities for these consults.
For any questions on when these legal aid consults will occur stop by the Cadena Cultural & Transfer Center or contact the Grads To Be Program at 714-992-7000 ext 24131, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website grads2be.fullcoll.edu