Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2017 had been illegal. The program, therefore, remains in place. Does that mean that new applicants should be admitted?
A federal court in Maryland says yes. However, the Trump administration has not been accepting new applicants after the Supreme Court ruling. It has, however, been processing DACA renewals.
Now, the U.S. District Court in Maryland has ordered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to begin accepting new applicants for DACA. According to NPR, there are an estimated 300,000 young people who would be eligible for the program but who have not yet applied.
Who qualifies for DACA protections?
DACA was created to help young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Most of them have virtually no ties to their countries of origin, making them especially vulnerable if deported. DACA status protects you from being deported and provides you with a work authorization.
In order to qualify for DACA, you must have:
- Been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012
- Come to the U.S. before your 16th birthday
- Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007
- Been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and when you make your DACA request
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
You must also be currently enrolled or a graduate/GED holder from high school OR you must be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard.
You cannot have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more minor misdemeanors, and you cannot pose a threat to national security or public safety.
DACA may not last forever
If you are interested in getting protection from deportation and a work authorization through DACA, you should be aware that the program could be canceled without much notice. When the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had not acted lawfully in attempting to cancel the program, it did not mean that the program cannot be lawfully canceled at all.
Indeed, at the time of that decision, President Trump indicated that he would quickly end the program following the process required by the court. However, more recently he has promised a “road to citizenship” for current DACA recipients and then said he would be “taking care” of DACA recipients.
“We’re going to work on DACA because we want to make people happy,” the president said.
If you are interested in applying for DACA or renewing your DACA status, call Yew Immigration Law Group. We have years of experience helping people live and work in the U.S.