On April 23, Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia decided that the administration’s decision to terminate the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was based on the “virtually unexplained” grounds that the program was “unlawful.” Wherein, he ruled that DHS decision to end DACA should not be enforced because the administration did not “adequately explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.” He stayed his decision for 90 days to give the government the opportunity to explain itself. During this time, attorneys representing the Administration will present additional arguments to justify the decision to end DACA; based on the Judge’s decision it seems near certain that in 90 days, DACA will be back in effect.
This decision expands on a previous decision to allow DACA recipients to renew by reinstating the DACA program as it was initially created in 2012. People who never applied for DACA before but who meet the qualifications will now be able to apply and receive the same benefits, namely, a two year renewable work permit which allows them to also obtain a social security number and driver’s license. Many people chose simply not to apply for DACA before, or others maybe did not qualify because they were still under 15 years of age or had not been able to go back to school to finish their high school diploma or GED.
It is unclear at this point if every single aspect of the original DACA program will be reinstated. For example, previously DACA recipients could request Advance Parole which allowed them to travel outside the U.S. and lawfully re-enter. This not only allowed for recipients to visit family for humanitarian reasons, but also to do study abroad or travel for work related reasons. Details on this will be clarified during the next 90 days.
It is extremely important to make clear that the decision does not allow for anyone to submit an initial DACA application until a 90-day period passes from the date of the decision. However, anyone who already has DACA can continue to file an application to renew during the 90 day period.
We encourage everyone who has previously had DACA to prepare to file their renewal applications as soon as they are able to do so, no later than 5 months prior to expiration. Anyone who meets the original DACA requirements but never applied previously should contact our office immediately, so we can confirm eligibility and begin preparation of all needed documents in anticipation of July 24, 2018 when DACA will be formally reinstated.
The attorneys at Wilner & O’Reilly have years of experience handling the most complicated immigration cases. With former immigration officers and board-certified specialists on our team, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure a positive outcome in your case. Contact us right away to receive a free consultation.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Kelly O’Reilly is a founding partner with Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC, and is a former District Adjudications Officer for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Los Angeles and Orange County. As an officer, Mr. O’Reilly was given the responsibility for adjudicating Employment-based and Family-based applications for Lawful Permanent Residency, Requests for Travel, Work Authorization, and Waivers of Inadmissibility. He was also responsible for conducting Marriage Fraud Interviews and requests for Naturalization.
Mr. Carpenter is the Managing Attorney of the Salt Lake City office of Wilner & O’Reilly. He is admitted to the Utah State Bar and the United States District Court for the District of Utah. Proficient in all areas of immigration law, Mr. Carpenter currently focuses on family-based immigration, employment-based, as well as U-Visas, 601 waivers, and investment-based immigration cases. Mr. Carpenter previously received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Spanish Translation. He attended the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, where he was a member of the Law Journal and served as an associate editor.