If you have had trouble keeping up with all the changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program this year, we cannot blame you. First, DACA was seemingly ended back in 2017. Then, DACA was saved (at least in part) by injunctions issued by several federal judges, who found that the program was ended illegally. We thought we would get a sense of finality when the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling back in July, reaffirming that the Trump administration did not take the necessary steps to end the program. Many practitioners thought this would bring back full-fledged DACA protections, including allowance of new requests and advance parole.
But on July 28, 2020, Chad Wolf, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, issued a memorandum titled, “Reconsideration of the June 15, 2012 Memorandum Entitled ‘Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children.’”
This memorandum restricted DACA by:
- Limiting renewals to only one year at a time;
- Denying parole (except in particularly extraordinary circumstances); and
- Rejecting initial requests for DACA protections.
Most recently, on November 14, 2020, a federal judge in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn found that Chad Wolf had not been legally appointed to his position as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. As such, he did not have appropriate authority to enact the above limits on DACA.
As of December 4, 2020, the same federal judge ruled that the Trump Administration must restore DACA as it existed before the attempted repeal in 2017. Specifically, the court order instructs the Department of Homeland Security to begin accepting new applications (instead of just renewals) for DACA as soon as Monday (December 7, 2020). Additionally, the court ordered that all permits should now be for the full two years instead of the limited one-year term that began in July. Along with these restorations to DACA, DHS is also expected to return to the old standard for granting advanced parole.
The past several years have been stressful and tumultuous for DACA recipients and their families. With a new administration coming in January 2021, however, immigrants have more reason than ever before to be hopeful for a continuation, if not an expansion, of the system that has allowed them to live and work in the United States.
Bring Your Questions & Concerns to Our Firm
At Yekrangi & Associates, we are here to help you understand and navigate the constantly changing immigration system. We are continuously inspired by our clients, and we work tirelessly to pave the way for them and help them accomplish their immigration goals. If you need information about the current state of DACA, what your options may be, and how to protect your rights, let our law firm answer your questions and help you take the right next steps.Call (949) 478-4963 or contact us online to get started today.