January 10, 2018
Recession of DACA Program
On 9/5/2017, the Trump administration rescinded the DACA Program, a renewable program set up by the Obama administration through an executive order that allowed undocumented individuals who entered the U.S. as a minor to be protected from immigration deportation. DACA has been viewed as a partial amnesty as it allowed certain group of undocumented individuals to live and work in the United States for a period of time. It is a renewable program, although it does not and never did grant “legal status” to its recipients.
Who can apply for DACA?
With the 9/5/2017 action, DACA recipients across the country who were prepared to renew their DACA applications feared that they would lose their protection. Shortly after the rescission of DACA, the University of California filed suit against the DACA rescission and while the case proceeding in the courts, on 1/9/2018, a preliminary injunction was granted at the request of the University of California. The preliminary injunction was granted by US District Judge William Alsup who ordered the Department of Homeland Security to continue accepting DACA renewal applications.
Individuals who were previously protected could now continue with their renewal applications, even if they failed to renew by the October 5th, 2017 deadline or those that will be expiring in the future.
Who is not eligible for DACA?
This order and its protection has the following exceptions:
1) New applications from applicants who have never before received deferred actions;
2) Advance parole petitions will not be adjudicated;
3) The department of Homeland security may take administrative steps to make sure fair discretion is exercised on an individualized basis for each renewal application.
Alsup argued that it was detrimental to individuals, whose lives are directly affected by the recession of DACA, before a resolution was made in regard to DACA. The Trump administration states that they are still committed in reaching a permanent, bipartisan solution. An important remainder is that the order is only a preliminary injunction while the case proceeds. The final outcome of the case can be very different from what the injunction states. That being said, this outcome is a positive step.
Although USCIS has not provided any guidance on whether they will be accepting any petitions for DACA renewals or whether they will be adjudicating them in a reasonable manner, we expect some guidance from USCIS soon. With a January 19, 2018 budget deadline, we expect Congress to be acting soon on DACA. Follow us to stay up to date on the quickly changing situation dealing with DACA.