Update on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to preserve and fortify DACA, consistent with applicable law.
What does this mean?
In compliance with an order from a United States District Court, and effective Dec. 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is:
- Accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to Sept. 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court's Dec. 4, 2020, order;
- Accepting DACA renewal requests based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to Sept. 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court's Dec. 4, 2020, order;
- Accepting applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to Sept. 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court's Dec. 4, 2020, order;
- Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and
- Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.
USCIS will take appropriate steps to provide evidence of the one-year extensions of deferred action and employment authorization documents under DACA to individuals who were issued documentation on or after July 28, 2020, with a one-year validity period under the defunct policy.
Renewal DACA applications?
USCIS is currently accepting applications for renewal of DACA. You should speak to a lawyer about your renewal.
What should I do if I have DACA?
You should meet with an immigration attorney to see if you have other forms of immigration relief available to you. Although it is still possible to renew DACA at this time, because of the tumultuous political landscape there is still no guarantee that DACA renewals will be possible in the future.
It is particularly important for you to meet with an immigration attorney if you have ever been arrested, if you have pending criminal charges, or if you have ever been the subject of a removal order or deportation order.
You should know your rights and be prepared to respond if you have contact with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) for any reason. Attorneys at Millar & Hayes PC can provide this type of information as part of a standard consult session.
If you have an approved Advance Parole application based on DACA and have not yet traveled, you should meet with an immigration attorney to discuss the risks and benefits of travel. Do not travel outside the U.S. without speaking to a lawyer.
Schedule a consultation with our firm to learn more about your options. One of our Seattle immigration attorneys will be happy to assist.