Top 10 Key Takeaways From DACA

  1. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a decision by the Trump administration to rescind the DACA program in 2020 on technical grounds.
  2. In response, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen declared the program unlawful in a decision in July 2021 because it never went through a formal rulemaking process.
  3. DHS released its proposed rule for DACA in September 2021, codifying the DACA program. Until the law is finalized, USCIS is still acceptable, but not adjudicating, NEW INITIAL applications. Renewals continued to be processed. Keep applying and renew early.
  4. Last month, Texas and eight other states filed their response to the lawsuit on appeal, urging the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans to uphold Hanen's decision finding DACA unconstitutional. The appeal's oral arguments have not been scheduled.
  5. What happens to DACA recipients and DACA-eligible youth?
    • If you have DACA right now: you are still protected and will be able to continue renewing for now.
    • If you are eligible for DACA but have never applied: DHS can still accept your application but will NOT be able to process it.
    • Advance Parole will remain open for DACA Recipients. This is important because advance parole under DACA counts as a legal entry that may allow you to legalize your status if you marry a U.S. Citizen.
  6. Continue using our voice and encourage the Biden-Harris Administration to finalize the rule to resolve matters and make the litigation disappear.
  7. We also need to use our voices to encourage Congress to create a pathway to citizenship. The package must protect undocumented people, including DACA recipients, TPS holders, Farmworkers, and Essential Workers.
    • S. 264 Dream Act of 2021 - Protects Dreamers brought to the United States as children and who have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives from deportation and an opportunity to obtain legal status if they meet specific requirements. Introduced on February 4. 2021, by S. Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
    • H.R. 6: The Dream and Promise Act of 2021 - allows Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for permanent legal status. Introduced on 3/03/21 by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). A similar bill passed the House last year on 6/4/2019
    • H.R. 1177 and S.348 U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 - Provides an earned pathway to citizenship, addresses the root causes of migration, responsibly manages the southern border and reforms the immigrant visa system. Introduced on 2/28/2021 by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the House and by S. Mendez on 2/22/2021 in the Senate.
  8. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, such as having a high school diploma or the equivalent, register to get your GED and begin gathering documents demonstrating your entrance before the age of 16 and your physical presence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
  9. Please be careful and avoid any run-ins with the law. Criminal Convictions are serious. People are often surprised when they are cited or arrested for DUI and lose the ability to renew their DACA application.
  10. Don’t lose hope. There is support for DACA on both sides of the political aisle – we need to push for priority to be given, especially amid other issues that compete for Congress’s attention.