Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Legal Services

On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful. This is a huge victory for our clients and community! DACA recipients continue to be protected from deportation and eligible for benefits such as work authorization. Please read EBCLC’s statement about the DACA decision and our commitment to undocumented community members for more information about our next steps.

While the SCOTUS decision should have restored the DACA program in its entirety, a recent announcement by the Trump administration has substantially limited the program, as announced in a July 28, 2020 Memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, on November 14, 2020, a federal district court found that this memorandum was issued without legal authority, invalidating the Trump administration’s attempt to restrict DACA. This is a big win! You can read more about the legal case and the latest developments on the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) website here and here.

We expect the federal district court to issue a ruling shortly after December 1, 2020, requiring the DHS to take specific action on DACA. The DHS should—but has not yet been ordered to—restore DACA entirely, including reopening DACA to first-time applicants, granting two years of DACA and work authorization to DACA recipients, and making Advance Parole available without restrictions to DACA recipients. For now (as of November 19, 2020), there are no immediate changes to DACA processing, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will:

  1. Reject all first-time DACA applications from individuals who have not received DACA in the past; 
  2. Reject all advance parole applications from current DACA recipients except where there are “exceptional circumstances”; and
  3. Shorten the DACA renewal and work authorization period from two years to one year. Individuals who currently have DACA or had DACA at some point in the past may continue to renew their DACA and work authorization, but will need to renew annually. 

There will be changes to the DACA program in the upcoming months. Check back for updates. You can also check the NILC website or the NILC Twitter for the latest updates. Click here for the latest DACA Frequently Asked Questions (August 2020) from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). Click here for the latest DACA Frequently Asked Questions (August 2020).

In the recorded webinar above, Ramon Becerra Alcantar and Melissa Phatharanavik of East Bay Community Law Center’s Immigration Clinic fill you in about the current status of DACA. This video was recorded in September 2020. This video is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions about your individual situation, please see information below how to make an appointment.

In need of immigration legal services that aren’t connected to DACA? Click here

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