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  • Writer's pictureHector Ledezma-Melendres

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") is back!

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") is back. So let's get right into how to get you approved today!

What does this new ruling mean for DACA?

December 4, 2020 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is required to full reinstate the DACA program to the state it was prior to the Wolf Memo. This memo directed the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services ("USCIS") to decline new applications and limit the DACA program. So this brand new decision reinstates the program to its original state.

In practice this means that:

  1. New DACA applicants will now be accepted by USCIS;

  2. Renewals will now be for 2 years; and

  3. Advanced Parole requests will now be processed.

To qualify for DACA you must be:

  1. Born after June 15, 1981;

  2. Came to the United States before your 16th birthday;

  3. Were living in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;

  4. Have continuously lived here since June 15, 2007;

  5. Meet certain educational requirements or were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces; and

  6. Have not been convicted of certain crimes.

Approvals for All!

If you are eligible for the program, than submit your application as soon as possible. This includes people who currently have DACA, whose DACA has expired, who never applied for DACA in the first place, and for people whose DACA was terminated but are still eligible for the program.

What you'll receive with a successful DACA application:

  1. Employment Authorization Document, valid for 2 years;

  2. Grant of Deferred Action (on your removal) for 2 years; and

  3. Advanced parole, which will allow you to travel outside the United States and re-enter.

  • Reminder: Requires that the travel be for "Humanitarian, Education, or Employment" purposes This is highly case dependent but could include visiting a sick relative or to study abroad. This would require documentation from the appropriate authority.

What about people who had their DACAs renewed for only 1 year?

If your DACA renewal was processed after the Wolf Memo was promulgated than you were likely granted just 1 year of DACA. However, in light of this new decision, USCIS will be sending notifications that will automatically extend your DACA for 2 years.


Final Thoughts

The DACA program has been continuously under attack by the current administration. So there's no telling what will happen in the coming weeks. Also there is no concrete plan yet from the new administration as to what will happen to the DACA program. So the safest bet is to renew or apply for the benefit today and wait and see what will unfurl under the Biden administration.

Contact us today for a consultation!

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