What is DACA?
The DACA program was established in 2012 by President Obama and allowed individuals who arrived in the Untied States without proper identification or who overstayed their visas as children to be deferred from any removal proceedings. Additionally, the DACA program allowed these individuals to lawfully work in the United States, to request advance parole (allowing them to travel outside of the U.S. for selected reasons), and to be eligible for benefits like Medicare.
Since 2012, over 700,000 individuals grew to rely on this program and developed their lives by going to college, getting graduate degrees, starting businesses, starting families, and overall, putting down their roots as Americans.
DACA in 2017
In 2017, DHS announced that it would be getting rid of DACA – a decision that led to many lawsuits around the country and resulted in injunctions that allowed DACA to continue to exist in some form pending a decision by the Supreme Court. This limited existence made it so that people who had never applied for DACA were no longer eligible to apply anew. It also removed the possibility of advance parole, so DACA recipients were barred from leaving the country regardless of the reason.
About the June 2020 Supreme Court Decision
After June 18th’s decision by the Supreme Court, it appears that DACA will be back in full force. This means that people will be eligible to apply for DACA for the first time, current DACA recipients will be able to reapply for renewed status, and DACA recipients will be eligible to apply for advance parole if they need to leave the country. And, of course, this also means that DACA recipients will be able to continue working lawfully in the US.
DHS Can Still Lawfully End DACA
Although this is an amazing decision in the short-term for DACA recipients, please take note that the decision is limited in scope. Earlier this year, we discussed the possible outcomes of this DACA decision. Fortunately, the Supreme Court sided with what we identified as the best-case scenario. Unfortunately, it still holds true that DHS could still lawfully terminate DACA. This new Supreme Court decision is about the exact process DHS took when it ended DACA. Although it found that process to be unlawfully inadequate, the Supreme Court did state that everyone agrees that DHS can end DACA, it just has to do it through the proper avenues. This would require more of a process for DHS in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Many find it unlikely that this will happen prior to the November election, so the election can be determinative of what happens to DACA next.
Today’s decision is definitely a cause to celebrate for those who rely on the protections of DACA, but as the Supreme Court said today, it is up to Congress to provide a long-term solution for all Dreamers.
Need assistance with DACA renewals or want to discuss potential alternative avenues for lawful status?
Schedule an initial consultation with Yekrangi & Associates. Our immigration attorneys in Orange County are ready to answer your questions. Contact us online or call (949) 478-4963. We speak English, Spanish, Farsi, and Mandarin.