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Federal Judge orders DHS to resume processing DACA renewal applications for all current and prior DACA recipients

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On January 9, 2018, Federal Court Judge William Alsup from the Federal District Court in San Francisco, California ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resume processing applications for renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) while an on-going legal challenge to the Trump Administration’s rescission of the DACA program is resolved.

Judge Alsup’s order applies nationwide to all current/prior DACA holders.

In June 2012, the Obama Administration announced the DACA program, which provides a temporary reprieve from deportation for young people who were brought to the United States as children prior to June 15, 2007, who have completed their education in the United States, and who did not have any serious criminal record.

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would terminate the DACA program. The Trump Administration announced that DHS would no longer accept initial DACA applications and would only accept DACA renewal applications for individuals whose DACA expired prior to March 5, 2018.

All DACA renewal applications had to be submitted prior to October 5, 2017. DHS has not accepted DACA applications since October 5, 2017.

In its complaint in Regents of the University of California v. DHS, the University of California challenged the Trump Administration’s authority to end DACA in Federal Court. The case remains pending in Federal District Court.

Judge Alsup’s ruling, issued late on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, orders DHS to continue to accept DACA renewal applications until the University of California’s legal challenge to the termination of the DACA termination is resolved.

The Judge’s order only applies to DACA renewals; that is, individual who currently or previously were approved for DACA, and whose DACA has expired or will expire.

Critically, the Judge’s order does not affect people who have not held DACA in the past. Individuals who have never received DACA are not eligible to file a new DACA application at this time.

The Trump Administration has indicated that it will challenge the Federal Judge’s order, and requested that the ban on DACA renewals remain in place. Individuals currently on DACA, or whose DACA has expired, and who remain eligible for DACA, are able to immediately file their applications for DACA renewal.

DHS is currently updating its policy and procedure regarding DACA renewal applications. Individuals who currently hold or previously held DACA, whose DACA has expired or will expire within the next 150 days, should quickly review their eligibility for DACA renewal.

Due to the quickly changing policy related to DACA, individuals are strongly encouraged to meet with an experienced immigration attorney to review the current posture of the DACA program and option for renewals prior to filing.

For more information on DACA, Judge Alsup’s Order or other immigration matters, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.