U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidance with details on how it will implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Key points:

  • USCIS will continue to reject first-time DACA applications and will only adjudicate renewal applications from individuals who have previously been granted DACA.
  • The agency will limit DACA renewals and Employment Authorization Document (EADs) to one-year validity periods.
  • The guidance instructs renewal applicants to file their applications between 150 and 120 days before their current DACA grant expires, and states that the agency will generally reject applications filed more than 150 days in advance.
  • USCIS will only grant advance parole to DACA recipients who demonstrate “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” Pending Forms I-131 and their filing fees that have been held by USCIS will be returned to applicants, and they will need to re-file their applications.

Background: On June 18, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s termination of the DACA program was unlawful. In response, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum on July 28.

BAL Analysis: The guidance provides details regarding the agency’s implementation of the July 28 DHS memorandum, which put in place new rules while DHS considers the future of the DACA program. Meanwhile, current lawsuits challenge the July 28 memorandum’s compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision on DACA and Acting Secretary Chad Wolf’s authority to issue the memorandum. BAL will continue to monitor the litigation and 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 berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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