In my column This week's Consulta Migratoria® explains the seriousness and consequences of not returning the work permits and approval letters of hundreds of DACA recipients.
This is the column:
First it was a request, now it is a warning.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced which will cancel DACA and work authorization for any immigrant covered under the program who has not returned employment authorization documents and approval letters that were issued after February 16, 2015 with a validity of 3 years.
They have until the end of the day on July 30 to return these documents to USCIS offices. If they fail to do so, they will lose their legal status.
USCIS advised all those affected of the error, notified them that these documents are no longer valid, and indicated that they should be returned. It also sent work permits valid for 2 years to replace them.
But even so, many people still do not return these documents.
Faced with non-compliance by these individuals, USCIS took this stern stance to urge them to comply with the order.
I must emphasize the gravity of the situation. Although the measure will affect approximately 2,100 immigrants, it would be a shame for them to lose the protection of legal status granted by DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
If the 3-year permits and approval letters are not returned, USCIS will cancel DACA and the individuals will again become undocumented.
Clarification on who has to return the permits
USCIS issued more than 100,000 work permits valid for 3 years. But this order only affects people who received permits and approval letters issued after February 16, 2015, when federal Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the implementation of President Obama's executive actions authorizing the extension of the documents' validity.
They must return 3-year work permits and approval letters if they received a letter from USCIS.
If you did not receive a letter or have a work permit that is valid for 3 years and are still in doubt, you can check if you are entitled to return it in the following ways:
1. Telephone 1-800-375-5283 and press option 8.
2. Go to the website USCIS Government. On that page, you can enter your card number and USCIS number. In just a matter of seconds you will know whether or not to return the permit.
Please do not risk your immigration status. If you have a work permit and approval letters granted through DACA that show a validity of more than 2 years that was issued by the Federal Government after February 16, 2015, return the documents immediately to a local USCIS office.
For more information and immigration tips, read my blog InmigracionHoy.com.
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Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States) and presenter of immigration television segments of El Abogado a Tu Lado on NY1 News. He is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current President of the Westlake South Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. For information on how to consult with Dr. Castillo, click here. click here.
The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.