UPDATED: DACA Must Accept First Time Applicants, Federal Judge Rules

DACA RULING GARAUFIS

UPDATE DECEMBER 8, 2020 –

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed today, December 8th, that it will restore DACA to full status as per Judge Garaufis’ ruling last Friday. USCIS confirms it will now be:

  • Accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Accepting DACA renewal requests based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Accepting applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and
  • Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.

Those eligible are urged to contact Margaret W. Wong & Associates as soon as possible, as this decision is subject to ongoing challenges before permanent legislation is expected to be enacted by the Biden administration.

 

DECEMBER 5, 2020 –

Undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children are now eligible to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

The ruling from Judge Nicholas Garaufis means that the program is open to first-time applicants for the first time since Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chief, Chad Wolf issued a memo that partially suspended DACA in July. Applicants and renewers will also once more be able to gain two years of protection instead of one, and have the chance to apply for Advance Parole in order to travel outside the U.S. for certain purposes.

In November, Garaufis said that Wolf had been appointed unlawfully, therefore invalidating the DACA suspension. In his latest ruling, the judge ordered the DHS to post a public notice by Monday, 7th December to reflect the restored program.

The DACA program was established in 2012 by President Obama’s administration, giving those who entered the U.S. as children illegally the temporary right to live, study and work in the country without the fear of deportation. The program current protects over 650,000 ‘Dreamers’ and over 300,000 are thought to have lost out on protection since the Trump administration placed restrictions on the program since September 2017.

Incoming President, Joe Biden, is expected to make DACA permanent via legislation once he takes office next year. However, legal challenges are still ongoing in a number of states which could yet undermine DACA before any permanent action is taken. It’s recommended that all eligible immigrant youth hoping to file an initial application to consult with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible.

We will post any updates on the response from USCIS as soon as it is made available.

WATCH: Margaret W. Wong Shares Her Thoughts on Upcoming Immigration Changes as President-Elect Biden comes into office.

The above information is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.  
© Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC

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