On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security, under former President Barack Obama, announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
The Status of DACA (updated March 2021):
December 4, 2020
On December 4, 2020, a federal District Court from Brooklyn, New York, ordered that the Wolf Memo be vacated. This Court order allows the DACA program to return to its original state before September 5th, 2017. The Court’s order mandates U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to implement the following actions:
- USCIS will accept first time requests to be considered for DACA;
- USCIS will accept DACA renewal requests;
- USCIS will accept applications for advance parole documents;
- USCIS will extend one year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years and;
- USCIS will extend one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.
January 20, 2021
On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum on his first day of office to signal his support towards DACA. This memorandum asks for the acting Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Attorney General to take all actions he deems appropriate and consistent with the law to protect DACA and ensure that it is preserved and fortified.
The status of DACA (updated July 22, 2021)
On July 16, 2021, a US district court in Texas issued a ruling in the case of Texas v. United States holding that DACA is unlawful but allowing the DACA program to continue, for now. The ruling also stated that DACA renewals may continue. The court ruled that new DACA applicants may continue to apply, but no decisions or approvals will be made until further notice. The federal government has stated they will appeal this decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. For the latest information on DACA, visit the National Immigration Law Center. Additionally, we will continue to post updates on the HRCP Facebook page.