The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, provides employment authorization and protection from deportation to about 600,000 people who were brought to the U.S. unlawfully as children. In order to qualify for DACA, people have to be working or in school and maintain a clean criminal record.
DACA opponents argue not only that it is bad policy but also that it was created outside the legal framework created by Congress for federal agencies. (It was created by executive order by then-President Barack Obama.)
Supporters of the program argue that it was lawfully created as an exercise of discretion by the agency, as directed by the president. The Department of Homeland Security only has limited resources, after all, and it must prioritize deporting some immigrants over others no matter what. They also contend that it would be cruel and inhumane to expose these immigrants to deportation. Many of them have no memory of their countries of origin and would be virtual strangers with few resources if sent there. Many also have immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens, including their own children, so deporting DACA recipients would split up families.
It has been a long and winding road, but DACA is currently operating. Last year, a federal judge in Texas declared that DACA was an unlawful exercise of power by the president. However, the program remains in place while that decision is appealed.
An appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was heard just this week in New Orleans. No matter what the appeals court decides, everyone expects the losing side to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
For now, current DACA recipients remain free to live and work in the U.S. as long as they maintain a clean record. They are able to renew their DACA status. But no new immigrants are being allowed to apply.
Considering renewing your DACA status? Call Yew Immigration Law Group
Your DACA status requires periodic renewals, and you should keep up with these renewals. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends DACA recipients file their renewal applications between 120 and 150 days before their current order expires. It is especially important to renew as soon as possible in case the program changes with a new court ruling.
If you had DACA but it has expired in the last 12 months, you may still be eligible. A new application will be treated as a renewal.
Contact Yew Immigration Law Group. We have years of experience helping people obtain DACA status.