Filing your DACA renewal in the midst of uncertain future
Updated from September 5, 2018
In an August 31, 2018 opinion, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas refused to issue a preliminary injunction that would stop the processing of DACA renewal. This means the current situation regarding DACA renewal remains unchanged since our last update on August 7, 2018.
Renew your DACA as soon as possible
If you have an approved DACA application that needs to be renewed, you should do so as soon as possible. Also, you should not travel outside of the U.S. as there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter the U.S.
Other options beyond DACA
If you are undocumented and DACA is not an option for you, you should seek help from an experienced immigration lawyer. There maybe options available to you such as I-601 Inadmissibility Waiver, I-601A Provisional Waiver or other humanitarian based protections. At Cipolla law group, we have excellent record of helping undocumented immigrants to gain their legal status in the U.S. Contact our immigration law firm today for a confidential consultation.
DACA may be fully restored on 8/23/2018
Updated from August 7, 2018
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) is a program that was implemented during the Obama Administration in 2012 that offers renewable, 2-year grants of deferred action to certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. Under DACA, people who immigrated to the US when they were younger than 16 and have lived in the U.S. continuously since 2007 are eligible to defer deportation, attend school, and receive two-year work permits. Around 800,000 individuals have received DACA.
Can I apply for DACA if I meet all the DACA requirements?
Based on the August 3, 2018 U.S. District Court’s order, the USCIS is still accepting and processing DACA renewal applications for eligible DACA recipients who have previously been approved for DACA. However, if you do not have a DACA or have never applied for DACA, you will not be able to file a DACA application at this moment as the USCIS is not accepting new DACA cases. If you are undocumented and DACA is not an option for you, you should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer and find out what other immigration options are available for you such as a I-601 Waiver, I-601A Provisional Waiver or other humanitarian based visas.
DACA Development Timeline
September 5, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration was rescinding the DACA program. That same day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum making the rescission effective immediately.
September 18, 2017
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit challenging the rescission of the DACA program (NAACP v. Trump).
April 24, 2018
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates issued an order vacating the decision to rescind DACA, requiring DHS to accept and process both new and renewal DACA applications.
June 22, 2018
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a new memorandum.
August 3, 2018
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates reaffirmed the court’s conclusion that the DHS’s September 2017 decision to rescind the DACA program was unlawful and that the Trump Administration must fully restore the DACA program. Thus, it denied the government’s motion to reconsider the Court’s April 24, 2018 order.
August 6, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement in response to the Court’s August 3, 2018 order, stating that the “Department of Justice will take every lawful measure to vindicate the Department of Homeland Security’s lawful rescission of DACA.”
August 23, 2018 – What could happen?
The D.C. District Court delayed the implementation of the order for 20 days until August 23, 2018 to allow the government to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and seek a stay pending appeal. This means that the DHS September 5, 2017 memorandum rescinding DACA will be vacated on August 23, 2018 unless the government appeals the decision and/or obtains stay of the court’s order pending appeal. If the court’s order goes into effect on August 23, 2018, the original DACA program will be restored in full and USCIS will be required to accept both new DACA application and DACA renewals.
What’s next for DACA program?
For now, there are no new changes to the DACA program. USCIS is still accepting and processing DACA renewal applications but is not accepting new or initial DACA applications. Stay tuned to see how the court decision will impact the DACA program.
Recession of DACA Program
Updated from January 10, 2018
On 9/5/2017, the Trump administration rescinded the DACA Program, a renewable program set up by the Obama administration that allowed undocumented individuals who entered the U.S. as a minor to be protected from immigration deportation. With the 9/5/2017 decision, only current DACA recipients can renew their DACA applications when they expire and no new DACA applications will be accepted until further notice.
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.