After five years of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under the Obama administration, the program recently underwent a change. On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced an executive order that the program was to be rescinded. The nearly 700,000 DACA recipients and their families across the country faced the sudden threat that they would no longer be protected from deportation from the United States. As part of the order, the Administration allowed certain DACA recipients to renew their employment authorization cards if, and only if, they expired between September 5th, 2017 and March 5th, 2018. Renewals for this specific group had to be received by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) by October 5, 2017.
However, on January 9, 2018, a federal court found that the DACA program’s rescission had been improper and ordered USCIS to continue to accept DACA renewals for individuals who had previously been granted DACA.
What does this mean? Going forward, DACA applications will be accepted on the terms existent before September 5, 2017. With some exceptions, if you were previously granted DACA and it expired on or after September 5, 2016, you may still file a renewal request. If you previously received DACA and your employment authorization expired before September 5, 2016, while you are unable to file a renewal request, you may file a new DACA application. Unfortunately, USCIS has stated that they will not accept initial DACA requests at this time.
If you have questions about your grant of deferred action (DACA), please reach out to our office for a free consultation about your case.