Recently, a federal district judge ordered the Trump administration to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. So, what is the DACA Program? What happened to it? What changes are to come? Read on to learn more about the potential restoration of the program.
June 12th, 2012
The Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children, and met certain criteria, could request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years.
November 20th, 2014
The Obama Administration expanded DACA. For example, they eliminated the age cap that had been included in the requirements and extended application deadlines.
October 5th, 2017
On October 5th, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services stopped accepting DACA applications. A memo was issued by the Department of Homeland Security, rejecting all pending and future initial requests for DACA. Additionally, the memo limited the benefits of current DACA beneficiaries. For example, they may only receive one-year renewals of their DACA status, rather than the previous two-year extensions.
Recently, a federal judge has ordered that the DACA Program be reinstated. This could allow for up to 300,000 undocumented immigrants to apply for the protections offered by DACA.
It is unclear whether this new order to reinstate will be blocked by a higher court. President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to fully reinstate DACA once he takes office, but with the Supreme Court’s new 6-3 Republican majority, there is a good chance the DACA program will be shot down, even if Biden tries to preserve it.
The Next Steps
The future of DACA remains unclear, but there are certainly advocates for the program. Allan Wernick, Professor and immigration law columnist, has laid out some information regarding applying for DACA in the event of reinstatement:
Requirements for Applying:
- You came to the United States before age 16
- You were not yet age 31 on June 15, 2012
- You have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007
- You entered the U.S. unlawfully or fell out of status before June 15, 2012
- You are in school, graduated from high school, or have a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- You have not been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors
How to Apply: You will need to file a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. There is a $495 filing fee.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the DACA Program, or is concerned about their benefits as current DACA beneficiaries, speak with a skilled New York City immigration attorney.
Contact Our New York City Immigration Lawyers
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