In 2017, the Trump administration stopped accepting first-time applications for DACA and left the program in limbo. But in December of 2020, a federal court signed an order reopening the door for first time DACA applicants. Under the order, the Department of Homeland Security had three days to post a public notice that it was accepting new applications.
The court ruling was a big win for young people who were brought to the United States when they were children. The program shields about 650,000 people from deportation and allows them to legally work in the country. In compliance with the court order, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service updated its website with a notice confirming it will take new DACA applications. New applicants are advised to act quickly in getting their applications in now since the government may appeal that court ruling, leaving the future of DACA somewhat unclear.
After the Trump administration stopped accepting new applications and attempted to shut down the program in 2017, a lawsuit was filed. In June of 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the administration’s rollback of DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling should have immediately reopened new applications, but the Department of Homeland Security stalled, saying that it was reviewing the decision. DHS head Chad Wolf issued a memo that specifically forbade new applications while the department conducted a “review” of the program. Another class-action lawsuit was filed. This is the one the New York federal court decided on in December.
There is currently another lawsuit pending in a federal court in Texas that is challenging the entire premise of DACA itself and not just its implementation. The suit was brought by a handful of Republican states and seeks to challenge the legality of the program. The legal battles surrounding DACA demonstrate that it was really only meant to be a temporary fix. A real, lasting, legislative solution is necessary to ensure protections for young immigrants.
If you are interested in filing a DACA application, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, we have the experience and compassion you need. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.