Few Legal Options for DACA Recipients

With the end of the program in sight, paths to citizenship for those in DACA may be hard to obtain

Last week, the Trump Administration announced the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an immigration policy that provided young undocumented individuals with permission to stay and work permits. The Department of Homeland Security will stop accepting new DACA applications. But those who are already in the program and have work permits expiring between now and March 5, are eligible to apply for a two-year renewal. Those applications must be submitted by Oct. 5.

More than 17,000 DACA recipients live in Colorado. Chan Immigration senior associate attorney James Lamb said that because of President Donald Trump’s comments about ending DACA during the election, many of his clients had started preparing for the possibility of the end of the program.

“Especially after Trump, I think most clients would have already come to us, and some did come talk to us about their cases well before this, because everybody knew how insecure DACA was after January 20,” Lamb said.

He said the most likely way someone would be eligible for an adjustment of status is based on a marriage. That type of relief results in a green card and requires two elements: a qualifying marriage to a U.S. citizen as well as a lawful entry into the U.S. He said that second requirement constitutes a smaller class of individuals, those who either entered on a border crosser card or a visa, likely a B-1 or B-2, which are issued for business or tourism.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the September 11, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.