DACA remains in effect for current beneficiaries

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Despite a judge's recent decision that declared the regulation of the 2022 DACA program illegal, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) clarified that its current beneficiaries continue to maintain their privileges intact and that they can request and receive renewal.

“There are no changes to the current deferred action grants, which are DACA Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and advance parole, awarded under the original 2012 program. Those grants and EADs remain valid,” DHS explained .

These reminders are directed to DACA beneficiaries and also to employers, reiterating that work authorization remains in effect after the latest decision in the DACA litigation.

“As a result of these rulings, existing DACA recipients can apply for and receive renewal, even though the government cannot grant new DACA applications,” the document states.

It also indicates that the court's most recent order “does not require DHS or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation or criminal action against any DACA beneficiary, applicant or beneficiary.

Some of the reminders that DHS makes about employment discrimination and the rights of immigrant employees are the following:

  • DACA recipients with current EADs continue to be authorized to work.
  • Workers who already have DACA can continue to renew their respective EADs.
  • Those recipients are not required to tell their employers that they have DACA.
  • Employers are not expected to know which employees, if any, have DACA, and court decisions on DACA do not require employers to review Forms I-9, re-verify employment authorization, or take any action.
  • Employers are not required or encouraged to ask their employees or job applicants about their immigration status or whether they have DACA.
  • Firing employees who have a legal right to work, such as DACA recipients with EAD, based on their immigration status, national origin, or assumptions about these characteristics may violate federal, state, or local law.
  • Employers generally should not ask job applicants or employees for their specific information about citizenship or immigration status.
  • DACA recipients do not have to volunteer information about their immigration status to their employers.
  • When hiring a new employee, employers must verify the employee's identity and work authorization, not their immigration status. Employers use Form I-9 for this process.
  • The Department of Homeland Security's rules for verifying an employee's work authorization explain that employers must accept documentation that reasonably appears genuine and related to the employee, and cannot reject documents because of a future expiration date.
  • Employers should not question whether an employee's Form I-9 documentation is valid due to the employee's citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. Employers who treat employees differently when verifying work authorization based on these or other protected characteristics could violate federal law.

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