On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. This decision has left many employers uneasy about how to handle employees whose employment authorization was granted through the DACA program and if they are still eligible to work in the United States.

The Saqui Law Group has compiled the following Questions and Answers regarding concerns employers may have following the announcement.

1.         Q.  What is DACA?

A. The DACA program was created by President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. It allowed for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of sixteen and who met certain criteria to enroll in the DACA program and enjoy (1) a period of deferred deportation action and (2) eligibility to request employment authorization. Currently, there are approximately 800,000 DACA participants.

On May 30, 2017, a California Legislature committee amended a proposed bill that would explicitly state the rights of immigrant workers at their job site, protect workers from employer self-audits of I-9 documents, and severely penalize employers who do not comply with the law. The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (“AB 450”) would specifically require employers to ask for a warrant before granting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) access to nonpublic areas of work site and prevents employers from give ICE confidential employee information, such as social security numbers, without a subpoena.

Beginning May 1, 2017, new permanent residents and workers granted employment authorization will begin receiving redesigned green cards and employment authorization documents (“EAD”). The new cards and EADs are a part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (“USCIS”) “Next Generation Secure Identification Document” project and come with “enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features” which create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

On Monday, Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary John Kelly issued two memos regarding implementation of President Trump’s illegal immigration policies. The memos outline DHS’s priorities and plans for addressing illegal immigration.

As we previously reported here and here, effective January 22, 2017, employers were required to begin using a revised Form I-9. Unfortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is reporting that the electronic Form I-9s downloaded between November 14th and November 17th had a glitch. On these forms, numbers entered in the Social Security Number field were inadvertently rearranged when employees completed and printed Section 1 using a computer. For example, the number 123-45-6789 entered in the Social Security Number field would appear as 123-34-6789 once the form was printed.

Today, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders on immigration: the first directs federal agencies to begin construction of a wall along the Mexican border, and the second deals with measures regarding immigration enforcement. President Trump, who consistently stated Mexico will pay for the wall, now claims Mexico will reimburse the federal government for the wall’s construction without specifying how such reimbursements will occur. Under this order, the head of each executive department and agency has 30 days to identify and quantify all sources of direct AND indirect federal money sent to the Mexican government over the past five years, which includes money sent for development, humanitarian, and military aid. This provision hints at how the President intends for Mexico to “pay” for the wall.

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