IMPORTANT UPDATE – PLEASE READ (as of January 28, 2021) – Here’s what you need to know about DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS:
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum noting his administration’s intention to both preserve and fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While it is not yet clear what the word “fortify” may mean for the future of DACA, it is apparent that this administration has–at the very least–committed to preserving DACA in its original form.
Recent DACA History
On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program was unlawful. DACA recipients continued to be protected from deportation and eligible for benefits such as work authorization.
While the SCOTUS decision should have restored the DACA program in its entirety, the Trump administration substantially limited the program, as announced in a July 28, 2020 Memorandum (“Wolf Memo”) 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. You can read more about the legal case and the latest developments on the National Immigration Law Center’s (NILC) website here and here.
On December 4, 2020, a U.S. federal district court ordered that the Wolf Memo be vacated, or be held unlawful and set aside. On December 7, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in response to the order, published a notice on uscis.gov that:
- Effective immediately, the government is accepting initial DACA applications, DACA renewal requests, and applications for advance parole from DACA recipients
- Any DACA and Employment Authorization Document (EAD or “work permit”) issued while the Wolf Memo was in effect are extended to two years from the date of issuance and that the government will take steps to provide evidence of this extension in employment authorization
- The government must provide a mailed notice to class members (people affected by the Wolf Memo) by December 31, 2020
There is a separate pending case in Texas challenging the legality of DACA. The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund is representing 22 individual DACA recipients who intervened to be part of the court case. Because MALDEF, along with the private firm Ropes & Gray LLP are the legal representatives in that case, they are the best source of information on what might happen in that case. MALDEF’s Texas v. United States Case Summary, has the latest updates.
There may be additional 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 (December 2020) from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC).
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Student Affairs office by email or phone (651-962-6120).