DACA Injunction Creates Challenges for Employers

Jan 26, 2018

The termination of the DACA program may potentially remove hundreds of thousands of workers from the workforce.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created a legal status for children of illegal immigrants that allows them to remain in the United States even though they have not acquired U.S. citizenship.

According to an article in PowerPost ( The Washington Post) by Tory Newmyer, there are “about 800,000 enrolled in the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program, many of whom are embedded in the workforce.”

President Trump has cancelled this program, which Attorney General Sessions has characterized as “an entirely discretionary non-enforcement policy that was implemented unilaterally by the last administration after Congress rejected similar legislative proposals and courts invalidated the similar DAPA policy…” THE HILL, Lydia Wheeler

Mr. Trumps’ action has become emblematic of the political conflict between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans.

At the present time, the District Federal Court in San Francisco has issued an injunction putting the reversal of DACA on hold to allow proponents of DACA to appeal the President’s order. “Experts expect DHS to appeal the ruling in the interim requesting a stay-and for along court battle to follow, perhaps culminating at the Supreme Court.” BIG Immigration Law Blog, Dawn Lurie

The Justice Department filed the appeal this week.

Where does this leave employers who face the prospect of losing employees if DACA is rescinded? Dawn Lurie’s article in BIG Immigration Law Blog offers some advice for addressing “the termination Of DACA [which] could result in the forced removal of hundreds of thousands of employees from the legal workforce over the next two and a half years.”

She recommends that employers review “recent I-9 guidance and auto-extension rules” that require “employers to review certain employment eligibility basis codes.” This will provide information regarding the legal status of their employees. Based upon this information, employers can take the appropriate steps to protect the interests of their companies. “However, this type of undertaking should be carefully considered with the assistance of competent counsel to ensure that there are no anti-discrimination based missteps.”

Sources—

The Finance 202: Businesses fret over lack of deal on ‘dreamers’, Tory Newmyer, Powerpost (The Washington Post), Jan. 16, 2018.

Justice Department to appeal court’s DACA ruling, Lydia Wheeler, THE HILL, Jan. 16, 2018.

DACA Dreams Again Through the Courts: What Do We know and What should Employers Do Now? Dawn Lurie, BIG Immigration Law Blog, Jan. 12, 2018.