U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking extreme measures to get back all the three-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards erroneously issued to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. On February 16, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in State of Texas v. United States of America—the case over President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration—ordered a temporary injunction preventing USCIS from issuing three-year EAD cards for DACA recipients. Any three-year EAD cards issued to DACA recipients after February 16, 2015, were erroneously issued and deemed invalid.
Plainclothes USCIS officers will literally be knocking on the doors of these 2,500 recipients and asking them to turn over their EAD cards. USCIS is issuing corrected two-year EAD cards and approval notices to those who return their erroneous three-year cards. If USCIS fails to retrieve the erroneously issued EAD cards, senior government officials could be held in contempt. Home visits have begun in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, and possibly San Francisco.
DACA recipients who want to avoid home visits should follow USCIS instructions for returning the mistakenly-issued cards. Recipients of the cards may verify whether they need to be returned on the “Check Your DACAWork Permit” page on USCIS’s website The penalty for failing to comply with the requirement to return a mistakenly-issued EAD card is termination of DACA status and all employment authorizations, effective July 31, 2015. USCIS will also consider any failure to comply as a negative factor in weighing any future requests for deferred action or any other discretionary requests.
Recipients may choose to return their cards directly to USCIS rather than turning over their only proof of work authorization to a plainclothes officer—without knowing if he or she is in fact an official government officer.