DACA Program Rescinded!
Echoing similar thoughts of confusion, uncertainty, and anger around the nation, California employees and employers contemplate the far reaching effects of today’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program decision. Memorandum on Rescission of DACA.
Today’s decision to rescind the 2012 Obama era DACA program throws the status of an estimated 700,000 legally employed DACA recipients into turmoil. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Dr. Tom K. Wong of UC San Diego, 91% of DACA recipients are actively employed in the U.S. (Full Survey) This number includes 72% of recipients currently employed by America’s top 25 Fortune 500 companies – 4 of which are headquartered in California. Unless Congress can find a way to stem the effects of full rescission over the next 6 months, it is estimated that a loss potential (over the next two years) averaging 30,000 DACA recipients per month will likely result as prior authorizations expire. Such a vast loss potential will leave many productively employed workers ineligible to continue working legally in the U.S.
As of July, the U.S. unemployment rate was at 4.3%. If this rate continues (or drops) it is likely many jobs lost by DACA recipients in the months and years to come will go unfilled. This workforce loss on a national level is likely to be deeply felt as recipients struggle with decisions to stay in the U.S. pending Congressional outcomes or to move proactively in seeking work elsewhere. In California, a state with robust employee workplace protections, employers and employees subject to the state’s powerful Fair Employment & Housing Act anti-discrimination laws, may find it difficult to navigate exceedingly murky employment waters when it comes to complying with DACA realities.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as of September 5, 2017, individual cases:
- “Properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) that have been accepted as of Sept. 5, 2017; and
- Properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for EADs from current beneficiaries that have been accepted as of the date of this memorandum, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted as of Oct. 5, 2017” will be adjudication on a case by case basis.
For more information on DACA next steps click here.