For that are in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or who have family in it, the recent court decisions that have come down about it have likely caused some trepidation. Specifically, because the most recent Southern District of Texas U.S. District court found it illegal. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recently released some information on how it is treating the immigration program.
Applications still accepted
First, DHS will continue to accept both initial and renewal DACA requests through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including employment authorizations. But, they will not grant any new applications after July 16, 2021. This means that, while USCIS may still process those application, and they may eventually be approved, as of right now, new applications (those received after July 16, 2021) will not be approved.
Renewals not affected
While approvals may have been halted, renewals are still being granted by USCIS. This is because the court allowed the agency to continue processing renewals. This means that, for those already in the DACA program, they can still renew their status and get their associated employment authorization documents.
What if status has not expired?
Then, there has still not been a change. The court decision does not affect current DACA recipients. And, when renewal is needed, it is still allowed.
So, just initial DACA requests are affected?
As of right now, yes, generally. This means first-time Tampa, Florida, DACA requests cannot be approved, but it also includes people that were already granted access to DACA, yet failed to timely renew. This means that it is possible to lose DACA under the current scheme, but only if one does not renew within a year of their DACA expiration. And, of course, if one’s DACA grant was terminated, they too could not be re-approved.