During July, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) undertook a number of extraordinary actions to urgently retrieve approximately 2,600 three-year work permits it claims were erroneously issued or mailed to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and to replace them with two-year permits. These actions were an attempt by USCIS to comply with a February 16, 2015 injunction issued by a U.S. District Court in the Texas v. United States lawsuit challenging the expanded DACA program and creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Lawful Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
These actions only impact a small percentage of the DACA recipients who received three-year work permits, including approximately 2,100 DACA recipients whose deferred action and work permits were approved right before the February 16 injunction but whose actual work permit cards were mailed after the injunction. It also affects approximately 500 recipients whose permits were approved before the injunction, were returned to USCIS as undeliverable, and were sent again after the injunction. The remaining 108,800 DACA recipients who received three-year permits are entitled to keep them.
Through letters, phone calls, text messages, and home visits, USCIS reached out to this limited group of DACA recipients to request that they immediately return their three-year permits. USCIS threatened to take adverse action against those who failed to comply by July 30, 2015, including terminating the DACA grant and work authorization. These unprecedented actions by USCIS have caused significant concern and confusion among immigrants and their representatives. If you continue to have any questions about which DACA clients need to return their three-year permits and which do not, please consult this dedicated section of CLINIC’s website where we continue to post updates and resources on this issue: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/three-year-daca-eads.
CLINIC continues to engage in advocacy with USCIS on this issue based on the experiences of its affiliates who have consistently provided ongoing information and case examples to keep us up to date about developments on the ground. Please continue to keep us informed and ask case specific questions by contacting Advocacy Attorney, Jill Marie Bussey, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, remember to sign up for CLINIC’s DACA listserv by sending an email to email@example.com.