There are some reports that President Trump may end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program soon. At this time, we do not know when or if the DACA program will be terminated or what the end of the program may look like. For example, will those with DACA continue to be protected from deportation and able to use their work permits until they expire? Or will DACA approvals and work permits be revoked? While the DACA program remains in effect at this time, below are some things to keep in mind should the program end.
I. Work Permits Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), also known as work permits, are generally valid until they expire or the government demands they be returned. Unless the government demands that you return your work permit, the following points should apply. If the DACA program ends but you are allowed to keep your work permit, you have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date. Even if the DACA program ends, you have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended. Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit. Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired. For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/daca-and-workplace-rights/.
II. Social Security Numbers (SSNs) Your SSN is a valid SSN number for life, even once your work permit and DACA approval expires. If you have not done so already, apply for a SSN while your DACA and work permit are still valid. You can and should continue to use the SSN you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for education, banking, housing and other purposes. Your SSN contains a condition on it that requires a valid work permit to use it for employment purposes. III. Driver’s Licenses and Other Identification Cards Eligibility for these depends on the state in which you live. If you have not already done so, apply for a driver’s license or state identification card if your DACA is still valid and that makes you eligible for a driver’s license or state-issued identification card in your state.