The U.S. Immigration Service said Monday it will continue accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, despite an adverse ruling last week declared “unlawful” by a federal court in Texas.
On September 13, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas declared “unlawful” the 2022 DACA final rule that replaced the original program created during the Barack Obama administration in 2012.
“For all DACA recipients who received their initial status before July 16, 2021,” Judge Andrew S. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said a portion of Hanen’s ruling was suspended.
“Accordingly, current DACA grants and related employment authorization documents (EADs) will remain valid until they expire, unless they are individually revoked,” it said.
However, he added, the agency, which operates under the command of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “will continue to accept and process DACA renewal requests and applications for employment authorization that accompany them under the DACA regulations established in the current regulation, as it has done since October 31, 2022, pursuant to this decision.”
USCIS also stated, “I’ll take it” Initial DACA requests, but, according to Judge Hannon’s ruling, “Such initial DACA requests will not be processed.”
Why do you get them?
“Because if a court rules in favor of the program, for example, in another high instance such as another circuit or appeals court case, these accepted forms will be processed immediately,” said immigration attorney Jose Guerrero. Practices in Miami Florida.
“That’s why USCIS says it continues to accept new DACA registration forms. The court order only says they can’t be prosecuted,” he added.
Guerrero said he has many clients who face this dilemma. “It is a personal decision. I explain to them that if a court rules favorably, those applications will be processed immediately, buying them time to obtain work permits. Of course, but if there is no favorable ruling, they will lose money for the procedure.
Alex Galvez, an immigration attorney in Los Angeles, California, said it’s a “personal decision” for Dreamers who don’t register to fill out an application with USCIS the first time.
“There are two theories. Either, if the form or case is pending, when a favorable judicial decision like the Supreme Court comes, they give the green light to process those requests. Or the received and pending cases should be protected from eventual deportation until the process is over,” he pointed out.
Galvez warned, however, that “if USCIS sends a notice that the case or petition is denied, they lose money.”
What happens to those who have already registered?
USCIS said current DACA grants (for program holders, just 588,000) and their associated employment authorizations “will continue to be recognized as valid under the final rule.”
“Those with DACA and DACA-related employment authorization do not have to submit a DACA or employment authorization request until the appropriate time to request their renewal,” which is 150 days before the documents expire.
For his part, the secretary of DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas, assured Judge Hanen after hearing the court’s decision last week that the ruling “protects the suspension, which means that current DACA beneficiaries will not lose protection against deportation.”
“But this ruling undermines the safety and stability of more than half a million Dreamers who have contributed to our communities,” he said. “America is the only home” for these young people and Congress “didn’t work, and now Dreamers face an uncertain future as they wait to receive the permanent security they deserve.”
Mayorkas added, “Consistent with the ruling, USCIS will continue to process DACA renewals and will continue to advocate on behalf of DHS DACA recipients every day in court and in our actions. “We stand ready to work with Congress on a lasting solution for our Dreamers.”