The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often called DACA, started under former President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the new administration announced that the program would end.

Essentially, the DACA program was targeted toward children. Reports show that it had kept around 800,000 of them from potentially being deported by offering them protections. These tended to be children who came to the United States when they were very young, brought in by their parents, and many hadn’t really lived or grown up anywhere else. Supporters of the program argued that they didn’t know any other home to which they could be deported, while detractors noted that they had still not immigranted legally.

Some of the changes now that the program is being disbanded kick in immediately. The government is not going to look at any new applications, for example.

However, the program is not going to simply cut all of the protections off immediately. For the next half of a year, anyone whose status would have typically expired will still be able to get it renewed. This gives people a six-month window of protection and also allows Congress to determine how to proceed. After the sixth-month window, those who stay could lose their protections and then be deported.

This is a big change in immigrantion law. It will be very important to watch how it proceeds and what Congress decides to do in the next six months. It’s also critical for those who were formerly getting protection under DACA to know all of their legal rights and what options they may have.

Source: CNN, “Trump ends DACA, but gives Congress window to save it,” Tal Kopan, Sep. 05, 2017