In 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security, under President Obama, issued a memorandum that instituted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and who met certain eligibility criteria to (i) request a period of “deferred action” from the government and (ii) apply for authorization to work in the U.S.
On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it was rescinding the 2012 DACA memorandum and terminating the program. The agency stated that the decision to terminate DACA was based on a determination by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions that DACA was an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”
Lawsuits were filed to challenge the government’s termination of DACA as unlawful. These lawsuits resulted in injunctions which required DHS to continue accepting applications to renew DACA for individuals who currently have or previously had DACA, but not accept any initial applications.
On June 18, the Supreme Court ruled that the administration’s termination of the program was unlawful and sided with DACA recipients. This decision restores the program completely, and both initial and renewal applications should be accepted by USCIS.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR INDIVIDUALS?
- DACA recipients continue to be protected from deportation and are eligible for work authorization.
- DACA recipients can continue to apply to renew their DACA.
- Individuals who never had DACA should be able to apply at this time (if they meet the eligibility criteria).
- DACA recipients are eligible to apply for Advance Parole and have the ability to travel outside the United States and return.
The full decision can be found here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-587_5ifl.pdf
Please call our office for a consultation to determine if you are eligible for DACA or for help with your DACA application/Advanced Parole.