On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that his administration was rescinding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), gradually phasing out the program beginning March 6, 2018. On January 9, 2018, in Regents of the University of California v. DHS, a federal judge issued a temporary order directing the government to reinstate the DACA program on a nationwide basis on the same terms and conditions as were in effect before its rescission on September 5, 2017. Effective immediately, the government must again accept DACA applications, except for the following:
- New applications from applicants who have never before received DACA;
- Advance parole applications (permitting travel abroad) for DACA applicants; The government may take administrative steps to make sure fair discretion is exercised on an individualized basis for each renewal application.
The injunction is temporary and may be changed at any time without notice. As such, the availability to extend DACA may suddenly become unavailable, and, therefore, individuals who qualify to renew may want to extend their DACA immediately. Pursuant to the policies in place before its rescission, the following individuals may be able to renew their DACA and work authorization at this time:
- Individuals who previously had been granted DACA; and
- Such DACA and work authorization has already expired or will expire in 180 days or less.
Please note that the USCIS has not yet published any instructions regarding this new order, the form for renewing has expired and a new form is not yet available, and both the order and requirements for filing can change at any time. We do not yet know if the USCIS will immediately accept such applications, whether they will continue to process such pending DACA extensions if the order is stayed (canceled), or if the USCIS would refund the filing fees if it could not approve such applications. Please contact us immediately if you need help in extending your DACA and work authorization if you believe you are eligible for a renewal.