Since its introduction, DACA has faced ongoing legal challenges over its legality, leaving recipients and undocumented people uncertain about their futures.

This past week the U.S. Administration enacted a rule in an effort to save Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The final rule’s implementation means that DACA is now based on a formal and ruled regulation, preserving and fortifying the program while it remains the subject of further uncertainty and litigation in court.

While this does not protect the future of the program, it does protect those recipients which it covered prior.

Since its inception in 2012, DACA has allowed over 800,000 young people to remain with their families in the only country many of them have ever known and continue to contribute to their communities in the United States.

Under this final rule, applications for deferred action, work authorization, and advance parole for current DACA recipients will continue to be processed and accepted. However, due to ongoing litigation, initial DACA requests will be accepted but will not be processed.

The final rule is a product of a review that considered over 16,000 comments received during the public comment period. It codifies existing DACA policy, with limited changes, and replaces the guidance set forth in the 2012 Napolitano memorandum.

The final rule affirms that:

• Current DACA recipients’ deferred action, employment authorization, and advance parole will continue to be recognized as valid.

• DACA is not a form of lawful status, but DACA recipients are considered “lawfully present”.

• Non-citizens who meet eligibility criteria, clear security and safety tests, and are found to merit a favorable exercise of discretion may be granted deferred action and obtain renewable two-year work authorization.

Current grants of DACA and related Employment Authorization Documents are valid, and USCIS will accept and process renewal DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization under the final rule.

Are you or a loved one affected by the ruling? Contact us today for a free consultation.

Photo by Maksym Ostrozhynskyy on Unsplash