Immigration and firm news

DACA Renewals – A Window of Opportunity to File and Extend

On January 9, 2018, a federal court in San Francisco issued a nationwide temporary injunction against President Trump’s termination of the DACA program.  The case is Regents of the University of California et al v. DHS.  The Judge ordered USCIS to resume accepting DACA applications for renewal. The order does not permit first time filers from applying, and it does not allow the filing of advance parole applications except in extraordinary circumstances. Thus, the window of opportunity to extend is for anyone whose DACA expired or was terminated after September 5, 2016 onward.  USCIS is still accepting applications under the order.

Back in September 2017, President Trump allowed a one-month filing period for DREAMERs whose DACA was expiring between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.  Therefore, anyone whose DACA expired before or after those dates can file right now while this window is open.  The US Department of Justice has appealed the injunctive relief order and the US Supreme Court has agreed to take the case. It plans to hear oral argument on February 13, 2018. What the Court will do after that, is unknown, so I would get those renewal applications submitted (received at USCIS) on or before that date! Keep in mind that the injunction is being contested in the Supreme Court, not the merits of the original case. The lower court judge still has to take evidence and testimony and have a hearing on the merits. Therefore, this case is a long way from being over. In the meantime, Congress is or isn’t working on a legislative fix for DACA holders, depending upon the day of the week. I would focus on making those DACA renewal applications to maximize another two years of stay and believe there is a legislative fix only when and if it is signed by the President. Of course, everyone should still be advocating for a legislative fix that is reasonable and humane and not at the expense of the DREAMER’s parents or other immigrants trying to immigrate lawfully.