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Termination of Deferred Action program (DACA) and the Impact on Employers

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

September 9, 2017

On Sept. 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA was initiated by the Obama Administration to shield certain people brought to the United States as minor children from deportation and to allow them reside and work legally in the United States.

Many of the roughly 800,000 beneficiaries of DACA received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) permitting them to be employed in the United States. A DACA-related EAD confers a temporary right to work in the United States. Under the program's phased rescission, the eligibility of a DACA beneficiary with an EAD to work will expire when the EAD expires, unless terminated or revoked earlier or unless Congress takes some action with respect to DACA.

For Form I-9 purposes, a DACA EAD is different from a Permanent Resident card (commonly referred to as a Green Card) in that the employment status of permanent residents does not require re-verification when the holder's Permanent Resident card expires.

Employers should review their Forms I-9 to identify employees who presented an EAD. Create some sort of a reminder of the EAD's expiration date and re-verify the employment eligibility of the EAD's holder before it expires. If the employee's employment eligibility cannot be reverified, the employee should be discharged the day after the EAD expires.