Jersey City, New Jersey – As of December 4, 2020, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, is reinstated in its original format and available to anyone who qualifies regardless of whether s/he has ever been granted DACA before or not.
DACA was created during the Obama administration and allowed people who arrived into the U.S. prior to June 15, 2007 and were less than 16 years old at that time, who remained in the U.S. without leaving, who were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012 and had no lawful status at that time, who have received a high school diploma or GED in the United States, and who do not have a disqualifying criminal conviction to be granted security from being deported and employment authorization for a two year period. The program was renewable every two years so long as the applicants maintained eligibility.
In September 2017, the Trump administration, issued a policy rescinding DACA. That policy was challenged in the courts. On December 4, 2020, a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York ordered DACA to be reinstated completely with its original structure and ordered USCIS to post this information boldly and clearly on its website. The order may be found here: http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2020/images/12/04/batalla_vidal_et_al_v_nielsen_et_al__nyedce-16-04756__0354.0.pdf
It is unclear how many people have been eligible to receive DACA benefits for the first time over the last three years but have not been able to because of the unlawful rescission, but those people may now apply and receive DACA benefits. All new grants will be for two years, and all those people who were granted one-year employment authorization based on the unlawful policy will be automatically extended to two years.
The Trump administration will not have enough time prior to the transition to the Biden administration to make any lawful changes to the DACA program. So those who are eligible may apply now. It is unknown what the Biden administration will do to change, improve or modify the DACA program, but is safe to assume it will not be revoked or trimmed down.
Since its inception, I have cautioned all my clients applying for DACA that someday it could be revoked and the information provided could be used against them. Sadly, the Trump administration proved me correct. While the Biden administration seems like it will be safe, eventually, there will be another new administration whose polices are, at this time, unknown. So applying for DACA still carries some risk, even if that risk is likely at least 4 years down the road. Those people who already have, or had, DACA have nothing to lose from renewing DACA. Those who have never applied before and are not “on the radar” have a lot to gain, but also some risk in the future.
If you are interested in applying for DACA for the first time, or renewing your DACA, please contact the Law Office of Eric M. Mark to discuss your options.
CALL US TODAY-15 minute FREE CONSULTATION — (973) 453-2009