On June 18, 2020, nearly a month ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration’s decision to cancel DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” effectively reinstating the program in full to its version under President Obama. Surprisingly, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) did not issue a statement confirming that it would reinstate the program in full, and instead posted a comment claiming that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision had “no basis in law” ignoring centuries of legal precedent which states that the highest court’s decision is the law of the land.
In the weeks since the decision, the USCIS has illegally refused to accept new DACA applications and illegally rejected them. This ends today. In its decision in Casa de Maryland v. DHS, the federal court clearly states that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reinstates the DACA program to its pre-September 5, 2017 version, and orders the USCIS to begin immediately accepting new DACA applications for individuals who never had DACA, as well as Advance Parole applications for DACA beneficiaries who have compelling reasons to travel abroad.
So what does this mean?
- If you currently have DACA, you can continue to renew it.
- If you previously had DACA, but it has expired, you can also renew it.
- If you never had DACA, but are eligible, you may file your first-time DACA application now.
- If you have DACA or are applying for DACA and have a compelling reason to travel abroad, you may apply for Advance Parole.
This window of opportunity may not last long. President Trump has indicated that he still plans on canceling DACA, which he has the authority to do, albeit with a more compelling reason than previously. We don’t know when or if this will happen, and so we recommend anyone who is eligible for DACA to consult with an immigration attorney now to determine whether to file.