U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will continue to accept requests for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal following a judge’s ruling last week.

Key Points:

  • U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ruled Friday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not follow proper procedures when it created DACA in 2012.
  • Judge Hanen enjoined DHS from accepting new DACA requests but stayed his ruling as it relates to current recipients.
  • USCIS confirmed this week that current DACA recipients remain eligible for renewal of DACA relief, employment authorization and advance parole.
  • The ruling barred USCIS from approving new or pending initial DACA applications starting July 16; however, foreign nationals can continue to submit initial DACA applications for possible future adjudication.
  • The Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling.

Additional Information: President Joe Biden issued a statement Saturday calling the ruling “deeply disappointing” and reiterating his pledge to “preserve and fortify” DACA. DHS is planning to publish a proposed DACA regulation in the coming months, and Biden said the U.S. Justice Department intends to appeal the ruling. He called on Congress to find “a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers.”

The Coalition for the American Dream, a group of more than 100 employers and trade associations, also called on Congress to protect DACA. “DACA recipients have been critical members of our workforce, industries, and communities for years now,” the coalition said in a statement. “Their work and commitment to our companies, their families and communities are critical to our nation’s strength, especially since there are tens of thousands of DACA recipients working as frontline doctors and nurses and in other critical industries fighting COVID-19.”

BAL Analysis: While the ruling was a setback for DACA and its supporters, at this time it does not affect current recipients or their ability to file renewal requests or for employment authorization advance parole. BAL continues to follow developments related to DACA. For more information, please visit BAL’s DACA Resource Center here.

This alert has been provided by BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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