With all the litigation surrounding the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program, you may be wondering, “what is the status of DACA now?” This brief article will give you a comprehensive update.
As of February 5, 2019, the full DACA program remains at a standstill but the government is still accepting renewal applications.
- That means that if you currently have DACA or had DACA at some point since its creation in 2012 (but it expired and/or renewal was denied), then you can still apply to renew your DACA status at this time.
- If you never had DACA then you cannot apply for it for the first time now.
- Advanced Parole (“AP”) is not available for DACA holders at this time.
The new Notice to Appear (“NTA”) rules do not apply to DACA applications as per one of the DACA cases currently pending in the 4th Circuit (i.e., DACA applicants that are denied will not be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for deportation proceedings unless certain national security concerns apply).
The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) is considering whether to hear the DACA cases (consolidated cases from different Circuits) as to the injunction appeals only (i.e., whether the lower courts correctly decided that the DACA program must continue for current DACA holders to renew while the underlying cases proceed).
The underlying cases, which involve issues such as whether the DACA program was constitutional and whether the DACA program can be terminated, are on hold until the interlocutory appeals are resolved by SCOTUS.
If SCOTUS takes the injunction cases, it is not predicted to hear oral argument on them until the fall and will therefore not likely render a decision until early in the year 2020.
Full DACA Program
That means that there is little to no chance that the full DACA program will re-open to new applicants until mid-to-late 2020 or more likely in the year 2021, that is, if the DACA cases are even resolved in favor of keeping the DACA program alive.
Federal legislation to codify DACA, known as the DREAM Act, has not yet been re-introduced this legislative session but the House has stated that it is considered a priority this year; it is unclear at this time how the Senate will react to the legislation.
This is not intended to be legal advice. Contact a lawyer if you need legal assistance.
Visit the Immigration Channel for additional information.
Jennifer S. Echevarria is Senior Counsel with the firm and practices Immigration and Employment Law including U-Visas and wage violations. She provides sexual harassment prevention training and investigative services in the Hudson Valley. She is bilingual in Spanish and can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.[/column]