2,100 DACA Recipients Receive Three Year Work Permits in Error

According to a fact sheet published on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Website, 2,100 DACA recipients received three-year Employment Authorization Documents after February 16th in error.

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

USCIS has notified the individuals who erroneously received the three-year work permits and has sent the individuals two-year long permits. USCIS has requested that the invalid permits be returned. The agency notes that it is tracking the number of returned permits and will continue to take action to collect the cards that remain in circulation.

This issue arises due to a February 16, 2015 injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The injunction prevents the Federal government from implementing the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.

Yet, it is important to note that the injunction only affects certain individuals who qualify for DACA. Therefore, individuals who wish to use DACA should contact an immigration lawyer  like The Law Office of Eric M. Mark to determine whether their case falls under the current injunction. Many individuals will still be able to apply for work permits and relief under DACA.

26 states have joined the lawsuit stating that DACA and DAPA violate the U.S. Constitution. While New Jersey isn’t officially listed on the roster of states seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, the lawsuit has the effect of putting some DACA and DAPA policies on hold until the case is resolved.

While the USCIS has been receiving applications for the DAPA and DACA programs, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson announced that USCIS won’t be accepting requests for the expansion to DACA, as planned, as a result of the injunction. The lawsuit does not affect the DACA program that was implemented in 2012. According to the Center for Migration Studies, the injunction only applies to the expanded DACA program.

The Federal government will appeal the injunction with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Many legal scholars, lawyers, judges, and other advisors believe that the injunction won’t be upheld. Legal and scholarly opinion support the expanded DACA and DAPA programs. Yet, many experts expect that DAPA and expanded DACA programs will face a long legal battle that may be taken to the Supreme Court. According to the American Immigration Council, Supreme Court precedent suggests that the injunction won’t be upheld.

The original DACA program remains in effect. This means that individuals who qualify for DACA should continue to send their documents to USCIS for processing. Individuals who qualify for DAPA and the expanded DACA action, also should note that the president’s memo on immigration policy remains in force, meaning that these individuals should not face removal if they come into contact with immigration authorities.

Given the legal battles taking place, DACA and DAPA candidates may find themselves facing confusing fine print, and may not even know whether they qualify for the programs. A New Jersey immigration lawyer can review the details of a particular case to determine a person’s candidacy for DAPA and DACA. Even if an individual doesn’t currently qualify, an immigration lawyer can gather documentation and prepare applicants to file for DAPA and the expanded DACA programs, once the case and injunction is settled. Visit www.ericmarklaw.com for more information or call 973-453-2009.