Skip to main content

Will DACA work permit make me legal some day?

Myra writes, "How long would the temporary status be for? Is there a possibility that this status would then eventually turn into some kind of a permanent legal status like the ones enjoyed by those under temporary protected status?"

Uncertainty surrounds the future of DACA process:  Right now the deferral is for a period of two years, but it is still up in the air what happens if President Obama loses the 2012 election.  Theoretically, it could be withdrawn the first day Romney goes to work in the White House (at least that is the chatter on Right Wing Republican websites that Romney could shut down the whole program even before the first sets of EAD are mailed out by the USCIS; it is common for presidents to sign many executive orders on their first day of work and candidate Romney and his supporters have a long list).  He could even invalidate the permits that are issued (just in case some are mailed out before the inauguration) or just not deal with it at all and let it die after two years.  In the worst case, he could allocate even more resources for deportation (it is expected that the US Government will stick to its promise that whatever information is provided in USCIS Form I-821D will not be used against them in enforcing their illegal stay in the country).  At this time we do not know enough about Romney's policy on immigration, though, he has mentioned self-deportation and only some kind of amnesty for those who have served in the Military.

Only a comprehensive law can help all illegal immigrants:  Regarding this leading to a legal status, this actually should be a separate process.  Basically what President Obama has done is issue an executive order to US agencies that they should stop focusing their resources on removing individuals who meet certain requirements.  The politicians on both sides talk rhetorically in terms of 'immigration reform' and specifically for these people in terms of the DREAM Act.  As you might be aware the DACA process itself benefits only a small group of individuals who came as children.  So the only way to benefit each and every undocumented immigrant in the country will require comprehensive legislation that covers everyone.  At that point, it would probably not matter if you applied for a work permit under this plan or not. Maybe they will need to submit less paperwork because some of it will already be in the system, but that I think is trivial.