The Walking DACA Filing DACA in an Age of Anxiety

Michael J. Totten's article The Walking Dead in an Age of Anxiety quoted Heinrich Heine, German poet and journalist, who wrote "Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us" reminds us of the apocalyptic fear DACAnians live under each and every day. While there are no changes to the DACA program at this time. Each day DACAnians face the complete and final destruction of their world.

Most recently Texas and Six Other States Sued the Government to End the DACA Program. These seven states filed a lawsuit in a Texas district court challenging the DACA program and requested a nationwide injunction to block DACA grants or renewals.

DACA Continued on Life Support

DACA continues to be available to any previously granted DACA recipient, even if expired. Further, many DACA recipients are eligible for other visa options including spousal petitions, employment sponsorship, TPS, asylum, special status for juveniles, visas for victims of trafficking or other crimes, or cancellation of removal.

DHS DACA Recission Deferred After March 6 Deadline

Department of Homeland Security press statement on DACA, that USCIS in compliance with court injunctions, is adjudicating requests for DACA renewals as they are submitted but is not accepting requests from individuals not previously granted deferred action under DACA; reassured, DACA recipients they are not a priority for arrest or removal; and advised DACA recipients EADs do not apply retroactively.

On March 5, 2018, a Maryland district court opinion declined to enjoin the government's rescission of the DACA program. However, this decision did not affect the other preliminary injunctions currently in effect, which meant USCIS will continue to process renewal applications under the guidelines specified below while those cases go through the regular appellate review process. The Maryland court did enjoin the government from using information provided through the DACA program for enforcement purposes, stating "[i]n the event that the Government needs to make use of an individual Dreamer's information for national security or some purpose implicating public safety or public interest, the Government may petition the Court for permission to do so on a case-by-case basis with in camera review."

On February 26, 2018, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in DHS v. Regents of the University of California noting that it "assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case." This decision means that, for the time being, USCIS will continue to process renewal applications under the guidelines specified below while the litigation works through the regular appellate review process.

On February 13, 2018, a New York district court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction ordering the government to maintain the DACA program on the same terms and conditions that existed prior to the September 5, 2017, rescission memo, subject to the same limitations as the January 9, 2018, injunction issued in DHS v. Regents of the University of California.

On September 18, 2017, several DACA recipients filed a lawsuit asking the district court to enjoin the rescission of the DACA program and the use of information obtained pursuant to the DACA program for immigration enforcement purposes, except as previously authorized. (Garcia v. Trump, 9/18/17).

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration rescission memo announced the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This practice alert explains what the announcement means, what we know about implementation of the rescission, and how to advise clients who currently hold DACA.

On June 11, 2017, DHS announced that DACA would End March 5, 2018. DACA Done.

These are the links to the DHS Press Release and DHS FAQ.

These events highlight the need of an experienced attorney

DHS has stated that DACA recipients will not be deported as long as they have DACA. However, a DACA grant does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship. DACA may also be rescinded, modified or withdrawn in the future. For these and other reasons, it is worthwhile to investigate whether you are eligible for immigration relief other than DACA. Permanent Residence and Asylum are just two examples.

About 15 to 20% of people who have DACA are eligible for other visa options including asylum, special status for juveniles, visas for victims of trafficking or other crimes, or cancellation of removal.

"We are treating each renewal as an emergency and are warning 'dreamer' clients to prepare for worst-case scenarios and explore other visa options with us." - Donald Smith, Managing Attorney, Litwin & Smith

Contact a San Francisco Immigration Lawyer

Contact an experienced immigration law attorney at Litwin & Smith. Our team of immigration and naturalization attorneys can assist you and your family with all of your business and personal immigration needs. Benefit from our more than fifty years of immigration law experience and the focused knowledge of our attorneys in immigration and nationality law. We can effectively represent you in your quest to obtain a green card for yourself, an employee, or a family member. We evaluate your situation to determine the most viable method of obtaining permanent residency. We will help you complete and file the appropriate paperwork with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and provide guidance along the way.

For more information contact Litwin & Smith at (650) 588-7100 or visit our Green Cards and Naturalization section for more information.

For more detailed information regarding work and family visas, green cards, and other immigration and naturalization issues, please view our Immigration Articles.