In June 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision finding that the Trump administration’s attempt to terminate the DACA program was unlawful. The decision left many people confused because the Supreme Court did not say the program was legal or constitutional – it simply pointed out that the way in which the administration proceeded to terminate DACA was unlawful. Keep reading if you have questions about DACA applications post United States Supreme Court decision.
DACA Applications Post United States Supreme Court decision
On July 28, 2020, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memo limiting the DACA program. An implementation memo was issued on August 21, 2020 by the Deputy Director of Policy, Joseph Edlow. Both memos follow the Supreme Court’s decision and outline how USCIS will process DACA applications for now.
There are still questions about the Supreme Court decision and what these memos will mean going forward. Here are some answers to the most common questions asked:
I have a pending application to renew my DACA, how do these memos affect my pending application?
USCIS will continue to adjudicate all properly filed DACA renewal applications. However, in accordance with the memos issued after the Supreme Court decision, the validity period of DACA approvals will be reduced from two years to one year.
My DACA is close to expiring or has expired, can I still apply to renew my DACA?
Yes. If you currently have DACA, the memo issued by Mr. Edlow indicates that you should file your DACA renewal application 120 to 150 days prior to the expiration of your current DACA approval period.
Note that while the Supreme Court decided that the Trump administration’s termination of the DACA program was unlawful, the administration could issue a new decision seeking to terminate the DACA program at any time. We recommend you file to renew as soon as you are eligible.
I have never had DACA, can I apply now?
Based on these recently released memos, USCIS will reject applications for initial DACA benefits for those who have not previously had them in the past. There are legal arguments that USCIS should accept initial DACA application, but while the memo issued by Mr. Wolf is in force, these applications will not be approved.
Since the validity of my DACA will be decreased, how much will it cost to renew my DACA?
For the time being, the filing fee for DACA remains the same $495.00. However, in the implementation memo, Mr. Wolf indicates that the DACA filing fee could be reduced since the length of the benefit will be shortened and applicants will have to file annually to maintain their DACA status. However, the memo does not reduce the filing fee or guarantee it will be reduced. Mr. Edlow acknowledges in his memo that USCIS is reviewing the possibility of decreasing the filing fee during this time that the DACA policy is under review.
I currently have DACA, can I apply for special permission to travel?
Possibly. The memo issued by Mr. Wolf indicates that USCIS will reject all applications for advance parole absent “extraordinary circumstances.” Mr. Edlow’s memo further states that USCIS will consider requests for advance parole on a case by case basis involving an assessment of the totality of factors present.
What are some of the reasons that USCIS may grant a request for a advance parole document?
USCIS may consider granting an advance parole request if there is an urgent humanitarian reason or a significant public interest to do so. Mr. Edlow’s memo outlines the following as examples that could warrant a grant of advance parole to a DACA recipient:
- Required travel to support the immediate safety, well-being, or care of an immediate relative particularly minor children of the DACA recipient;
- Travel required to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment that is not otherwise available to the DACA recipient in the United States;
- Travel related to the furtherance of U.S. federal law enforcement interests; and
- Travel to support the national security interests of the United States including U.S military interests.
Immigration Lawyer in Houston
If you believe that you may be eligible for DACA, you should speak with an experienced Immigration Lawyer to determine how best to submit your application and to explore any other options you may have. Karam Immigration Law office are experienced immigration lawyers in Houston. Click here to schedule a consultation: