We can only speculate. Mr. Romney has said he will honor DACA grants by the Obama administration but not issue new grants. (See Callum Borchers, Mitt Romney would honor deportation exemptions issued to young illegal immigrants under President Obama’s executive action but would not grant new ones, Boston Globe, Oct. 2, 2012.) Presumably this means the USCIS mailroom will stop processing new DACA applications at noon on January 20, 2013 if Romney is elected. Two other things are less clear:
- What happens to DACA applications that were already on file with USCIS but not decided before noon on January 20? Will these be adjudicated, shelved, or . . .?
- Will a Romney administration renew the Obama DACA grants after two years?
According to the same article in the Boston Globe, Mr. Romney has no plans to “round up” and deport undocumented persons (such as DACA applicants), and he has proposed a “full immigration reform plan” although he opposes the DREAM Act. Perhaps his position will change to favor DREAMers. But any broader amnesty like the Reagan-era Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 (a.k.a. IRCA) appears unlikely: