Two federal courts have now issued decisions that functionally require the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to continue renewing DACA applications. As stated in our last update, no new DACA applications will be accepted at this time. The decisions in these states (one in New York and the other in California) affect the entire country. So, anyone, in any state is eligible to renew. The Supreme Court denied the government's appeal last week. This means that the government will need to appeal to the Ninth Circuit and that process will take time.
On February 14, 2018, USCIS issued an important update on its website, with updated processing information. Of particular importance is the following:
- No new DACA applications will be accepted at this time
- If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request.
- If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal (because renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA), but may nonetheless file a new initial DACA request.
Based on the guidance from USCIS here, we encourage anyone who presently has DACA with an expiration date within the next 150 days to file for renewal as soon as possible.
There are risks to applying for a renewal, including losing the filing fee if the court’s order is reversed and, in general, the same risks of sharing information with the government in an application for a temporary program that have always existed with DACA. This means that if a DACA recipient has committed conduct that would make him/her ineligible for an initial approval of DACA, s/he will continue to be ineligible to renew and filing could lead to a negative consequences.
Other renewal information:
- Previous guidance on renewals stated that USCIS encouraged DACA recipients to submit their renewal packages 120 to 150 days before expiration. This is the time frame we expect to be followed. Some other advocates have encouraged renewals of up to a year in advance. There is a risk in renewing so far in advance.
- There are no fee waivers. The renewals cost $495 and can be paid with a check or money order payable to the Department of Homeland Security.
- USCIS has posted Form I-821D, Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on its website. You can download it here: https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-821d.pdf
- Filing instructions, addresses, and more information is available here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-821d
If you live in Michigan and you need advice about this situation, help preparing a renewal application, or help with the filing fee, please call MIRC at (734) 239-6863
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program Ended
On September 5, 2017, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke issued a memorandum explaining how the government is ending the DACA program. This is a human and civil rights crisis for the thousands of young adults in Michigan who depend on DACA to allow them to work and drive legally and be safe from deportation to countries they left as children. A "Frequently Asked Questions" document was also released.
We encourage you to read the linked documents carefully if you are affected.
EXPIRATION DATES AND RENEWAL
This announcement does not automatically end DACA for anyone. Current DACA documents are valid until the expiration date.
- Eligible people whose first DACA applications have been filed and are pending should expect that those applications will be approved once for a two-year period but will not be renewed after that.
- Eligible people whose renewals are pending should expect that their renewal will be processed and will be valid for two years but will not be renewed after that.
- People who have not yet applied to renew but whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, had the opportunity to apply for renewal one final time as long as that application was received by USCIS before October 5, 2017.
- People whose current DACA does not expire until after March 5, 2018, will not be allowed to renew.
- Based on the current information released by USCIS, people whose DACA had expired before September 5, 2017, and who have not yet applied to renew their DACA will not be able to apply for renewal.
DRIVING AFTER DACA RECISSION
In Michigan, driver's licenses are issued to be valid for the same period of time that a person's proof of legal status is valid. So, when a person's DACA expires in the future, his or her driver's license will also expire. Unless he or she has obtained a different form of "legal presence" under Michigan law, the license will not be renewed.
STUDYING AFTER DACA RECISSION
High school students will still be allowed to attend public high schools after their DACA expires based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Plyler v. Doe. No one can be required to provide proof of legal status for K-12 education. In Michigan, most public colleges and universities admit undocumented students and many allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, but there is no uniform policy.
WORKING AFTER DACA RECISSION
Anyone currently working with a DACA Employment Authorization Document (EAD) should be allowed to continue working until the document expires. Unexpired DACA EADs are valid for new employment, too. Terminating someone or refusing to hire them because their EAD will exipire in the future is illegal discrimination. Employers or workers with questions about the law should contact the U.S. Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
Anyone with questions about DACA status or who experiences difficulties with driver's licenses, school enrollment, or recognition of their valid Employment Authorization Document should call MIRC at (734) 239-6863 or our farmworker hotline at (800) 968-4046.
Let's Do More
To kick off our #LetsDoMore campaign, here's a look at our work and how it has changed since November.
Know Your Rights with Immigration Enforcement
Learn how to lead a family preparedness and KYR workshop:
- Watch MIRC's “Train the Trainer” Video
- Powerpoint slides for “Know Your Rights” presentation (in English and Spanish)
Share with immigrant communities:
- MIRC Know Your Rights & Family Preparedness 5 minute videos - English and Spanish
- Preparing Your Family Guide - English, Spanish, Arabic, and Bangla trifold
- Available in PDF, or if you would like to order printed copies go to www.tinyurl.com/orderguides
- Arabic version coming soon
How can I find information on someone who has been detained in Michigan?
- online detainee locator. Search requires full name, date of birth, and country of birth OR A# and country of birth.
- Vinelink. With the exception of a handful of county correctional facilities, almost all jurisdictions in Michigan can be searched using this simple-to-use website. This website is often updated sooner than the ICE online detainee locator. Search can be performed by name only.
How Can Your Community Welcome Immigrants?
For more information, see our Welcoming Policies information sheet here.
I. Welcoming Policies
A. Welcoming City, County, and Township Resolutions
B. Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs Liason
C. Don't Ask Policies
D. Municipal Identification Cards
E. Immigrant-Supportive Statements by Schools and School Boards
II. Community Policing
A. Foster Strong Police-Community Relations
B. Decline to Participate in 287(g)
C. Decline to Detain Immigrants for Deportation
D. Decline to Notify Federal Immigration Police of Release Dates
E. Use Tickets -Not Arrests- for Low Level Offenses
F. Prohibit Joint Patrols with Federal Immigration Police
III. Legal Resources
A. Inform Dependents of Potential Immigration Consequences
B. Adopt U-Visa and T-Visa Policies
C. Develop Civil Legal Resources
IV. Employment Resources
A. Ensure Enforcement of State Labor, Employment, Civil Rights, and Housing Statuses Regardless of Immigration Status
V. Compliance with Federal Law and Federal Funding Requirements
Things You Can Do Right Now to Support Immigrants and Refugees in Michigan
1. Wear a safety pin, but if you’re able, don’t let that be the only thing you do.
2. Find ways to join or support organizations that advocate for the most affected communities and defend constitutional rights: MIRC and Welcoming Michigan, the ACLU of Michigan, Michigan United, One Michigan, and the Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to name just a few that are statewide. Learn about the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) Take on Hate initiative. Make sure you’re on whatever action alert lists you need to be on.
3. Know that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is “on the list” to be eliminated in the first 100 days of the new administration. Learn about DACA – United We Dream has good information. Think about leaders at all levels whom you could ask to be champions for people who have DACA status and get in touch with them about it. Many with DACA have shared their stories in the press – start learning those stories.
4. Thank Republican State Rep. David Pagel for his co-sponsorship of HB 5940 and 5941 that would extend driver’s license and ID eligibility to all immigrants in Michigan, regardless of status. He represents District 78 which includes parts of Cass and Berrien Counties. Figure out who you know who lives there and ask them to thank him for his courageous and authentic leadership. Ask him to support the bills again next session.
5. Ask your own state legislators to support the driver’s license bills (HB 5940 and 5941) and co-sponsor them with lead sponsor State Rep. Stephanie Chang next session. Encourage Republicans to talk with their colleague Rep. Pagel about the reasons for his support.
6. Approach your local refugee resettlement office about how you can support refugees and refugee inclusion. Consider forming a team to sponsor a local family – you don’t have to be a church to do it. Major refugee resettlement agencies in Michigan include Bethany Christian Services, Samaritas, USCRI, Catholic Charities of Southeastern Michigan, St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Jewish Family Services.
7. Approach your own faith leader to share this list and make sure they are connected with their national denomination or faith group’s advocacy arm on immigrant and refugee rights issues. These include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Initiative, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and so on. Ask your faith leader to work in your diocese or district to develop a more active and more engaged plan to respond to immigrant needs and issues locally.
9. Print out a copy of the Michigan Immigrant Service Provider Reference Guide available under the “RESOURCES” tab on the MIRC website, michiganimmigrant.org, so that you know how to access services you or your friends may need in the future. Find our “Preparing Your Family for Immigration Enforcement” guide in our Know Your Rights folder and share it with families who need it. It is available in English and Spanish.
10. If your community has a Municipal ID program (Washtenaw and soon Detroit) get one, even if/ESPECIALLY if you have another ID. Advocate for a Municipal ID program like Washtenaw County’s ID program in your community. If you know people in other states where undocumented people have driver’s licenses, encourage people you know who are U.S. citizens to turn in their regular driver’s licenses and get the “no proof of status” licenses.
11. Share this list with anyone else you think will have ears and a heart for it!
MIBlog Is Here!
MIBlog is a platform where we recognize exceptional advocacy for Michigan's immigrants and highlight experiences of clients. We want to foster an online culture that promotes justice for all immigrants. Click the "MIBlog" tab on above menu to read our latests posts.