By Dev Banad Viswanath, Esq.
A Federal District Court Judge in New York City ruled on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications making a definitive requirement that US CIS open up and accept initial DACA applications starting December 7th, 2020. The agency consequently announced that they would in fact reinstate the program as was created in 2012 under President Obama.
The agency has posted on their website as directed that they will accept brand new DACA applications and that they would revert back to the initial policy of granting 2 years of work authorization and deferred removal. The agency also said that they would allow DACA recipients to travel under certain limited circumstances. The decision by the District Court helps the over 640,000 current DACA recipients and likely affects another estimated 300,000 people who are eligible and have not applied yet.
The celebration of positive news on the subject is tempered by the recent decision to bring actions against DACA by Republican Attorneys General in other parts of the country. For example, in Texas, the Federal District Court has set a hearing date of December 22, 2020 in a case involving the lawfulness of DACA. If the Texas Judge, who has previously stated that DACA was likely illegal, rules that it is in fact, this could complicate the program considerably.
Those who have loved ones or who are themselves eligible, should consider filing for DACA right away so that applications have an opportunity to be receipted and process in the event that the Texas Federal Court or any other Court rules against the program before President-elect Joe Biden can take office or, more importantly, can figure out a way to protect the roughly 1 million “DREAMERS”.
For anyone who believes they may be eligible for DACA protection, please contact a knowledgeable Immigration Lawyer.