DACA – Em­ploy­ers and what is means for Em­ploy­ees

The HR Digest - - Drift -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has an­nounced the de­ci­sion to end the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals (DACA) pro­gram, which has pro­vided re­moval pro­tec­tion and tem­po­rary work per­mits to nearly 800,000 un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants who en­tered the U.S. as chil­dren. No new DACA ap­pli­ca­tions will be taken af­ter Septem­ber 5, 2017 mean­while cur­rent DACA par­tic­i­pants will keep their de­por­ta­tion pro­tec­tion sta­tus and tem­po­rary work per­mits un­til those ben­e­fits ex­pire. Af­ter Oc­to­ber 5, no DACA re­new­able ap­pli­ca­tions will be al­lowed.

The de­ci­sion to roll­back the DACA pro­gram has raised a num­ber of im­por­tant ques­tions for busi­nesses that em­ploy DACA work­ers.

What would hap­pen to work­ers? Em­ploy­ees who have re­ceived work per­mits, also known as Em­ploy­ment Autho­riza­tion Cards, through the DACA pro­gram may con­tinue to work un­til their work per­mits ex­pire.

What about when the per­mit ex­pires? When an em­ployee’s work per­mit ex­pires, the em­ployer must ver­ify the em­ployee on Form I-9. If the em­ployee presents doc­u­ments es­tab­lish­ing work el­i­gi­bil­ity – such as, green cards or other forms of im­mi­gra­tion re­lief – the em­ployee may con­tinue work­ing.

Can em­ploy­ers ter­mi­nate DACA em­ploy­ees? No. Ter­mi­nat­ing DACA em­ploy­ees with valid work autho­riza­tion could lead to dis­crim­i­na­tion claims based on na­tional ori­gin or race.

Is there any­thing em­ploy­ers can do to put DACA em­ploy­ees at ease? Some em­ploy­ers may want to re­as­sure DACA em­ploy­ees dur­ing this un­cer­tain time. Em­ploy­ers should avoid mak­ing un­nec­es­sary prom­ises, in­clud­ing ones about fu­ture em­ploy­ment, which they may not be able to keep. Em­ploy­ers, how­ever, may con­tact their rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Congress and lobby for leg­is­la­tion to main­tain the pro­tec­tion of DACA em­ploy­ees.

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