THIS IS AN IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT THE USCIS RECALL OF CERTAIN THREE YEAR EAD’S ISSUED TO DACA RECIPIENTS:
On July 1, 2015, USCIS Headquarters personnel in Washington, D.C. hosted a public engagement conference call to clarify their efforts to retrieve certain Employment Authorization Documents (EAD’s) issued to Deferred Action recipients under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.
Recently social media and other media outlets have been buzzing about the return of certain EAD’s issued with a three year validity generating fear that some DACA recipients may be in jeopardy of losing their DACA status all together or that they may receive a visit from DHS agents to their homes. USCIS therefore attempted to ease much of this fear and clarify who is and who is not required to return a three year EAD.
The problem arose because immediately after the President’s November 20, 2014 Executive Action announcement (which included an expansion of the 2012 DACA program from two year to three year approvals), USCIS began issuing EAD’s to new and renewal DACA applicants with a three year validity period. On February 16, 2015, Judge Hanen issued an injunction as part of the Texas et al. v. U.S.A. litigation in the Southern District of Texas halting the expansion of the 2012 DACA program to three years as well as the implementation of Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). According to Judge Hanen’s Order, USCIS should have stopped issuing three year EAD’s immediately on February 16, 2015. However, USCIS took some time to implement the terms of the Order and to switch back to issuing two year EAD’s. As a result, approximately 2100 EAD’s were issued AFTER February 16, 2015 valid for three years.
In addition, USCIS also reported that approximately 500 EAD’s valid for three years were actually approved and first issued before February 16, 2015 but were returned to USCIS by the US Postal Service as undeliverable and re-mailed by USCIS AFTER February 16, 2015.
What you need to know about the RECALL is:
ONLY THE 2100 THREE YEAR EAD’S ISSUED AFTER FEBRUARY 16, 2015 AND THE 500 EAD’S RE-MAILED AFTER FEBRUARY 16, 2015 ARE SUBJECT TO THE RECALL.
- USCIS was very clear that the approximately 108,000 three year EAD’s issued prior to February 16, 2015 ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE RECALL.
- The recall is being carried out by Notice Letters being mailed to all affected DACA recipients.
- All three year EAD’s described above (about 2600 EAD’s nationwide) MUST be surrendered to USCIS no later than July 30, 2015. Failure to surrender and affected three year EAD’s will expose the recipient to termination of their DACA status. If a recipient has their DACA status terminated because of a failure to surrender an affected three year EAD subject to the recall, their failure will be considered as a negative consideration in any future application for DACA.
- If a DACA recipient has a three year EAD and is not sure if their EAD is subject to the recall, the recipient should call USCIS at: 800-375-5283 and select option #8. At the time of this posting, the option provides recorded information about this recall and the opportunity to speak with USCIS customer service agents who USCIS states will be able to confirm if a specific recipient’s EAD is subject to the recall.
- Recipients of three year EAD’s subject to the recall should follow the instructions in the Notice Letter to mail the affected EAD back to USCIS by overnight mail to the address provided by the July 30, 2015 deadline. If a recipient returns an affected EAD by mail, it is strongly recommended that you use a receipted and tracked service such as UPS or Federal Express or DHL which will provide you confirmation and signature proof of delivery.
- USCIS also advises that recipients who are unable to meet that deadline by mail can also walk into any USCIS Field Office nationwide to surrender their affected three year EAD. An Infopass appointment is NOT REQUIRED and the recipient can walk in to surrender the EAD. The St. Louis USCIS Field Office is located in the Young Federal Building in downtown St. Louis at 1222 Spruce Street, Room 2.205 Saint Louis, MO 63103-2815. The Kansas City USCIS Field Office is located at 10320 NW Prairie View Rd. Kansas City, MO 64153. If a recipient returns an affected EAD in person at a USCIS Field Office, the USCIS personnel should provide a receipt for the surrendered EAD. DO NOT LEAVE the USCIS Field Office without a receipt.
- USCIS has confirmed that if a DACA recipient had a three year EAD affected by this recall but is now unable to surrender the EAD because it has been lost or stolen or destroyed, the recipient must provide a sworn statement to that effect and the submission of the statement will constitute surrender of the affected EAD.
- As of the date of this posting, USCIS states that ALL recipients of three year EAD’s which are subject to the recall have been mailed replacement EAD’s with a two year validity period.
- USCIS expects that a DACA recipient who is required to return a three year EAD should receive their two year replacement EAD very shortly after if not before the deadline to surrender their three year EAD. There should be very little if any time that the DACA recipient will be without a valid EAD.
- USCIS has confirmed that in the case of an affected EAD that is not timely surrendered, USCIS personnel may be sent to the residence of the DACA recipient in an effort to retrieve the affected three year EAD. USCIS has explicitly confirmed that these visits will not be by ICE, CBP or other law enforcement agents. USCIS also reports that if a home visit is going to be attempted, USCIS will make an effort to contact the recipient by phone the day before the intended visit. If a USCIS employee makes a visit, they should be in plain clothes and provide identification and a badge proving they are employed by USCIS. They are not authorized to question any person in the residence or search any part of the residence and the sole purpose of the visit will be to retrieve the affected three year EAD.
The USCIS senior directorate level personnel who conducted this conference call were very explicit that the only purpose of these efforts was to bring the 2012 DACA program into full and complete compliance with Judge Hanen’s February 16, 2015 Order and that USCIS’ overriding concern is to assure that all current DACA recipients are able to remain in full compliance with the program and maintain their valid work authorization.
If you have any further questions about this recall, please contact us at:
US Legal Solutions, LLC
Kenneth K. Schmitt
8714 Gravois Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63123