A federal court recently ordered full reinstatement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was created under the Obama administration, which protects undocumented immigrants who are brought to the United States as children from deportation. This ruling reverses the decision of the outgoing Trump administration, and it will help many people, including a large number of Indian immigrants. President Trump’s administration tried ending DACA in 2017, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the attempt. DACA allows those individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to defer deportation for two years and become eligible for a work permit in the United States. Often referred to as “Dreamers,” DACA recipients cannot have any felony or serious misdemeanor convictions on their records. In addition, it only applies to those who came to the United States before their 16th birthday and who have lived in the country continually since 2007.
The Details for Dreamers
More than 600,000 immigrants are enrolled in the DACA program. Per President Trump’s orders last September, DACA was set to end March 5. The administration immediately stopped taking new applications for DACA and accepted renewals for approximately one month. They were hoping the deadline might pressure Congress to come up with a substitute for DACA. In the meantime, two judges have ordered the current administration to accept renewals again. Since DACA is granted for a two-year period, some immigrants will not see their DACA benefits end right away.
In compliance with the U.S. District Court order, effective December 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now:
Accepting first-time requests for deferred action under DACA
Accepting DACA renewal requests
Accepting applications for advance parole documents
Extending deferred action grants under DACA from one year to two years
Extending one-year employment authorization documents (EAD) under DACA to two years
It is important to note that the first three acceptance provisions mentioned above are based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and must be in compliance with the Court’s new order. USCIS will take steps to show proof of the one-year extensions of deferred action and EADs under DACA to those who received documentation on or after July 28, 2020, with a one-year validity time frame under the defunct policy.
Contact an Itasca Immigration Lawyer
DACA has helped many immigrants who entered the country as children remain in the United States by allowing them to work here. Although the current White House administration tried to abolish the program, a federal judge has reinstated the full benefits of it. At the experienced law firm of Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C., we understand how complex immigration laws and processes can be, especially when legislation changes. If you are wondering how this news may affect you or your loved one’s case, a skilled DuPage County immigration attorney will help determine your eligibility. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 630-875-1700.