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What farmers need to know about the end of DACA

Wednesday, September 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aaron Stauffacher, assoc. dir. government affairs
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On September 5, the Trump Administration announced its plan to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). This program was designed to shelter people who were brought to the United States  as young children from deportation, while also granting them work permits. The president took this action after attorney generals from 11 states threatened to sue to end the program.

There are approximately 800,000 DACA participants nationwide. While most DACA participants are not employed in agricultural jobs, some are. For those people and the farmers that employ them, the future is uncertain. The president's decision does not take effect until March 5, 2018 and he has urged Congress to find a legislative solution for DACA participants. Congressional leadership from both parties is generally supportive of efforts to do so, but that is not a guarantee that the effort to replace DACA with a legislative solution for childhood arrivals will succeed.

There is no indication that people who participated in DACA will be subject to any immediate enforcement action. To the contrary, those participants with DACA documentation expiring between now and March 5, 2018 were granted a limited amount of time to file for a two-year renewal of their protections and work privileges.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) renewals from this group will only be considered if received prior to October 5, 2017. So, if you happen to know you have an employee who has participated in DACA, you can make them aware of this deadline and the importance of acting quickly to maintain their legal work status. (Please note, it is unlawful for employers to inquire if an employee is a DACA participant or what his or her immigration status is, so you should only reach out to an employee on this if he or she self identified as a DACA participant.)

DACA participants whose permits expire after March 5will not be able to renew, but their existing protections will remain in effect until their previously-established expiration dates. As part of the standard I-9 process, farmers will know when an employee's EAD expires and a new one will need to be provided. It is unlawful to continue to employ someone who lacks a current EAD.

Please feel free to contact Aaron Stauffacher, associate director of government affairs, with any questions at (608) 482-2438 or astauffacher@widba.com. He will attempt to answer your question or can put you in touch with external resources who can.


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