Author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor
On January 18, 2013, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Of importance to employers, the FAQs address the status of deferred action recipients. Specifically, an individual who receives deferred action status does not obtain permanent lawful status, but is considered to be lawfully present in the US during the time in which the deferred action is in effect and is "eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate 'an economic necessity for employment.'" In order for an individual to establish an economic need to work, he or she must provide the USCIS with financial information, such as current income, annual expenses and value of assets.
The FAQs clear up other uncertainties, such as whether an individual accrues unlawful presence if there is a pending request for consideration of deferred action and whether an individual who has a pending request may travel outside the US.
DACA is still in its infancy. Therefore, employers must stay abreast of any developments related to DACA in order to ensure they hire an authorized workforce and do not discriminate against deferred action recipients during the employment eligibility and verification process. Continue to check with XpertHR to ensure compliance with DACA and other immigration issues.