*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

Travel Warning for Those with DACA

“I have DACA and Advanced Parole. Can I travel outside the U.S.?”

With Trump as President-Elect, the future of the DACA program is, at best, uncertainty. My advice is that those who currently have DACA status should not travel internationally, even if they have been granted Advanced Parole.

As an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, I fully understand that this advice may be painfully disappointing. I know that there are emergency situations and that USCIS is still processing and approving applications for Advanced Parole for those with DACA status. You and others may have travelled internationally with DACA and Advanced Parole in the past without any problems.

But the reality is that we are now living in uncertain times. So today, in my professional opinion, to go outside the U.S. with DACA and Advanced Parole would be a risk with uncertain, but potentially devastating consequences.

“But the National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream are telling students with DACA and Advanced Parole that it’s okay to travel outside the U.S. as long as they return to the U.S. before January 20, 2017, when Donald Trump will be  inauguration as President. Are these immigration organizations wrong?

I have respect for NILC and United We Dream. I don’t think that their advice is necessarily wrong. But  truth is that no one knows what will actually happen to DACA once Trump takes office. Your guess is as good as mine or anyone else’s.

Those with DACA have good reason to fear President-Elect Trump. During the campaign, Trump promised mass deportations. And he said many times that his administration would make the deportation of visa overstays a top priority. Trump singled-out Muslim and Latino immigrants with racists attacks. And he pledged to end the DACA program on Day One of his administration. Trump’s transition team includes 2 anti-immigrant all-stars: Jeff Sessions and Kris Kobach.

DACA recipients with Advanced Parole should not travel internationally

In the face of uncertainty and in an abundance of caution, my advice is to stay inside the U.S. and to refrain from international travel, even if you have DACA and Advanced Parole. And my opinion is shared by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.