Updates on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Since its implementation in 2012 by the Obama Administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been a topic of debate in the United States.  The U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas has recently been at the forefront of major decisions regarding the program. On July 16, 2021, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that DACA was unlawful. The decision was appealed and argued throughout 2021 and 2022. On September 13, 2023, a Final Order was issued by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas that found DACA unlawful. A copy of the order can be found here.

The Final Order issued this September is an expansion of the injunction from July 16, 2021, which also sought to find DACA unlawful. Similar to the 2021 ruling, the new order upholds that DACA recipients with initial status on or before July 16, 2021, who currently have valid grants and employment authorization document related to their DACA status, will continue to be recognized.

Consequently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to accept or deny the filing of DACA renewal requests and related employment authorization (EAD) requests. The Final Order does allow for initial requests to but submitted, but DHS cannot adjudicate them. On September 13, 2023, the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released a statement regarding the order, which can be found here.

Although this order poses issues for current and potential DACA recipients, the decision “declined to order an immediate end to the program and the protections it offers to recipients.”  It is anticipated that the order will eventually be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Current recipients can continue to renew their DACA grants and EAD requests during the appropriate times for their renewals. Information regarding renewing DACA can be found here.  Despite DHS being unable to process initial DACA requests, they are still accepting first-time applications. To qualify for DACA applicants must meet several eligibility requirements that are explained here.

If you would like assistance or more information regarding DACA and whether you qualify, please contact our office at 734-369-3131.

Posted in DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.