DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

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On June 18, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration and its end to the DACA program.  Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the majority opinion.  The court decided that the Trump Administration did not follow proper legal procedures in cancelling the program.  In rescinding the DACA Program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) failed to consider all interests such as a broader renewal date or a more accommodating termination date.  Given the mistakes in the cancelling of the program, the court ruled against the Trump administration. This allows the program to remain in place, at least, for now.

The DACA program has protected over 700,000 people in the United States.  This court ruling does not mean the DACA program cannot be ended. It means that how the Trump Administration tried to terminate the program in 2017 was legally incorrect. However, the court decision does give the Trump administration a road map on how they can legally end the program.  The process that is needed to terminate this program will take time and will push a conclusion past the November elections.

Critical to know is that, for now, people who are part of the DACA program can continue to renew their status.  In addition, new applications can now be accepted again given the Supreme Court Decision.

For those who have not previously applied, but may be eligible, you must fit all of the seven criteria. They are as follows:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

An additional outcome from this court decision is that DACA recipients could now be eligible to receive advanced parole documents.  This is a way for a DACA recipient to legally leave the United States and return after a trip abroad.  The DACA program gives protection from deportation and the ability to work legally in the United States.

The continuation of this program will likely depend on the upcoming elections and pending legislation to reform the US immigration laws. This could lead to ongoing protection of DACA recipients and give them a path to US citizenship. It is important to watch for developments and understand how any changes could affect your rights.

Contact Zohar Law

If you or someone you love may be eligible for DACA, contact the experienced immigration law team at Zohar Law in NYC. We will use our experience and expertise to fight for you and your loved ones.