On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration acted improperly when it attempted to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017. Rather than fully restoring DACA to the way it was before September 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memo on July 28 stating that it is still reviewing the program but that in the meantime DHS
will not accept applications from anyone who did not previously have DACA
will not approve applications for advance parole (permission to reenter the U.S. after departing) except in cases involving “exceptional circumstances”
will grant DACA renewals for only one year.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued further guidance on how it will implement this memo in a memo dated August 21.
ICIRR and our members and allies are committed to fight to protect those at risk of deportation, and to ensure protection for all. Below, please find information about what we know and what's next.
DACA and COVID-19
Unemployment insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work. This is NOT a public benefit and does not count as one for public charge purposes. DACA recipients are eligible to file for benefits as long as they have a current authorization to work. They can enter the card information during the claim filing process online (www.IDES.Illinois.gov), once the claim is filed they are asked to submit copies of the I-766 ( work Authorization card) for further review. The individual needs to have proof of legal authorization to work during the base period that is used to establish the unemployment claim.
Learn how to file an Unemployment Insurance Claim HERE. If you have questions, please call (800) 244-5631.
Can I renew my DACA work permit even if I have more than six months before it expires?
Under the August 21 memo, USCIS will now generally reject renewal applications sent more than 150 days before the applicant’s current DACA grant expires. USCIS might still accept some applications submitted more than 150 days before the current validity period expires “if there are legitimate reasons for doing so….”
After your DACA expires: Impact on work, Social Security Numbers, and Illinois driver's licenses:
You have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
You have no obligation to inform your employer that you benefit from DACA. Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired.
Your Social Security Number is valid for life, even after your work permit and DACA approval expires. You can and should continue to use the SSN you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for taxes, education, banking, housing and other purposes.
In Illinois, immigrants can get regular driver’s licenses (including a REAL ID license) if they can provide their SSNs and are currently eligible for an SSN. So long as your work permit is valid, you will be eligible for an SSN and therefore eligible for a standard or REAL ID license. Under new Illinois laws that took effect in 2016 and 2017, anyone applying for an initial standard or REAL ID driver’s license now must provide proof of immigration status. Any such licenses will expire on the same date that the applicant’s status or work permit expires. In other words, if you have DACA and an SSN and you are applying for a license for the first time, you can get a standard or REAL ID license, but that license will expire on the same date as your work permit.
After your work permit ends, you can apply for a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), which will be valid for three years. TVDLs are visually distinct from regular licenses and are not valid for identification purposes. For more information on TVDLs, please visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/TVDL/home.html.
Please visit our Events page for a listing of upcoming DACA information sessions and workshops.
Please visit our Protection page for links to legal, mental health, and other community resources.
Our Family Support Hotline is available to provide information, referrals, and live responses to deportation-related crises, including consultations with mental health professionals: 855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (855) 435-7693.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will new DACA applications be accepted?
USCIS is not accepting applications from anyone who did not previously have DACA. This means that anyone who became eligible for DACA after September 2017, or otherwise never applied before then, will not be able to apply.
Will the fees increase?
No. USCIS had proposed a new fee for DACA applications in addition to the fee for the employment authorization application, but decided not to impose this new fee. However, because DACA will now last one year instead of two, people renewing DACA will need to do so twice as often and pay the application fee twice as often.
My DACA expired in 2017 and I did not renew, am I still eligible to apply?
Under the August 21, 2020, USCIS memo, individuals who previously had DACA but did not renew will still be able to apply again. While these applications will be considered “initial,” USCIS will still accept and process them.
I have DACA, can I now travel outside the United States?
Travel to support the national security interests of the United States including U.S. military interests;
Travel in furtherance of U.S. federal law enforcement interests;
Travel to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment that is not otherwise available to the alien in the United States;
Travel needed to support the immediate safety, well-being, or care of an immediate relative, particularly minor children of the alien.
I arrived after June 15th, 2007, Will I qualify to apply for initial DACA?
Is there any financial assistance to pay the USCIS fee?
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