The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday that it would continue to accept Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal applications, but not new enrollees, while it undertakes a review of the program. The announcement followed a Supreme Court ruling in June, holding that the Trump administration’s initial attempt to end the program was unlawful.

Key points:

  • DHS will essentially maintain the status quo that has been in place for years following the administration’s 2017 attempt to end DACA: renewals will continue to be accepted, but new enrollees will not.
  • However, DHS will limit renewal grants of DACA and work authorization to one-year periods, when the agency had previously issued grants in two-year increments.
  • DHS said it would reject DACA recipients’ requests for advanced parole (new and pending) except in “exceptional circumstances.”

Additional information: In its ruling in June, the Supreme Court held that the way the administration moved to end DACA was unlawful, but the Court left the door open for DHS to modify or end the program if it followed proper procedures. In an eight-page memo, DHS highlighted a number of “areas of concern” on DACA, including whether Congress should resolve the issue, whether deferred action should be taken on a case-by-case basis, that the program may send mixed messages about the government’s enforcement of immigration laws, and that the program may encourage people to bring children to the U.S. unlawfully.

BAL Analysis: While DHS considers the future of the DACA program, it will continue to accept renewals and grant renewals for one-year periods. This means that the DACA status quo will largely remain in place past the November presidential election, which could determine the future of the program. DACA remains popular among most Americans and has strong support in the business community. BAL will continue to monitor the administration’s actions on DACA and will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact