USCIS announced in late August that it will begin rejecting all initial or first-time applications from immigrants who have never previously received DACA, with the ability to reapply when they begin accepting requests sometime in the future.
The memo stated it will continue to accept requests from those who had been granted DACA at any time in the past, considering requests for advance parole that are properly submitted only on a case-by-case basis. The memo also raised the threshold for DACA recipients to qualify for this advance parole, stating relief would only be granted “for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”
For approvable DACA renewal requests, USCIS stated it will limit grants of deferred action and employment authorization to one year, not rescinding any currently valid two-year grants for those who continue to meet the DACA criteria. Replacements of two-year EADs that are lost, stolen, or damaged will have the same two-year validity period if the EAD replacement application is otherwise approvable.
The announcement to reject initial requests for DACA followed the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year that DHS must halt its dismantling of the program, in which notably, the Supreme Court did not rule that ending DACA itself was unconstitutional. It simply ruled that the rationale provided by the administration to dismantle was not sufficient. Because DACA was created via executive order, not by Congress, it makes the program particularly vulnerable to presidential appointee ruling.
USCIS stated they will generally reject requests received more than 150 days before the current grant of DACA expires. DACA recipients should file their renewal request between 150 and 120 days before their current grant of DACA expires, leaving only a 30-day window for ideal submission.
Because of this ruling, the fate of hundreds of thousands of people may be subject to further court action. Around 800,000 people currently live under DACA protections, some of whom may be subject to the new restrictions if they didn’t already renew their DACA status within the past year.
With the ever-changing legal landscape of the DACA program, it is more important now than ever to have adequate representation for yourself and those you love. Call Us Today for a free consultation.
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