April 2017 DACA Update

This past week, President Trump (I hate having to write that) again announced that he is not targeting “dreamers” for deportation. On Sunday, April 23, 2017, DHS Secretary John Kelly also said that during the 90+ days he’s been on the job, there has been no focus on ending the DACA program. Since Trump took office in January 2017, there have been 3-4 people that were deported that had been granted DACA, but those 3-4 people had criminal records. With that said, it appears that the Trump administration does consider it fair to deport DACA holders if they commit crimes after being granted DACA.

I believe that Trump will not end the DACA program anytime soon. Trump is suffering through a lot of negative publicity and his poll numbers are at an all time low. Ending the DACA program would be a very unpopular decision with the American public, with the many mistakes made by the President already, I think he knows to leave the DACA program alone.

All the public support that DACA supporters have generated has been really important in keeping this program alive. I want to congratulate all those DACA holders and supporters in doing the hard work to make the DACA program so well known to the American public.

What People Who Don’t Have DACA Yet Should Do

Anyone that does not have DACA yet should apply for it right away. It appears that having DACA now is even more important than it was during the Obama Administration. Trump respects the DACA program and with the ICE enforcement actions, that I believe will increase in the coming months and years, having DACA really could mean the difference between deportation and staying here legally. So, anyone out there that did not feel it was important before this year, please apply for your own benefit. It costs $495 in filing fees and I charge $535, so for $1,030 you will be protected from deportation.

What Current DACA Holders Should Do

Here is a list of crimes that DACA holders can be deported for:

  1. Domestic violence
  2. Sexual abuse or exploitation
  3. Burglary
  4. Unlawful possession or use of a firearm
  5. Drug distribution or trafficking
  6. Driving under the influence (DWI)
  7. Any felony
  8. Any misdemeanor for which you served 90 days in jail

As you can see from this list, most of these crimes are pretty rare. However, #2, #3, #4, and #5 are all felonies, and any felony conviction will get you deported whether you have DACA or not. Domestic violence and DWI are usually misdemeanors, and if you get convicted of either of those, your DACA will be terminated and you could be deported.

If you have DACA, please do not drive drunk. Consider taking a taxi, call Ride Austin, ride with a friend, walk home, do whatever you need to do, but do not risk your legal status here by driving drunk. I know that some people may have driven drunk at some point in their lives, but DACA holders are risking so much more than anyone else by doing it. If anyone out there with DACA does get pulled over for DWI, please get a criminal attorney and tell them that you have DACA, you may be able to get your case reduced to a lesser charge that wouldn’t get your DACA status terminated.

Anyone that gets arrested for a crime that is not on the list above, you will keep your DACA status and you will not be deported. Everyone take care out there and drive sober!

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