FEDERAL JUDGE GIVES DREAMERS HOPE

A recent decision by a Federal Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that the administration’s decision to terminate DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was “unlawful.” The judge held his decision for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security an opportunity to respond. If the decision stands, it will require U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept applications from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA, in addition to renewal applications.

An individual may be considered for Initial DACA if he or she:

  1. Was under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday;
  3. Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Was present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making his or her request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  1. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
    6. Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general educational development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard; and
    7. Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

An individual may be considered for Renewal of DACA if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of Initial DACA (see above) AND he or she:

  1. Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without advance parole;
  2. Has continuously resided in the United States since he or she submitted his or her most recent request for DACA that was approved up to the present time; and
  3. Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Since the issuance of the decision by Federal Judge John D. Bates, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit to end DACA, which was joined by six other states. the requested injunction would be directly contrary to two national injunctions that require the federal government to maintain the DACA program. It seems certain that eventually the Supreme Court will directly confront whether the federal courts have the constitutional and statutory authority to grant national injunctions.

All this controversy surrounds a program that provides temporary protection against deportation. The spot light has been taken off efforts to gain a permanent solution for our childhood arrivals. In February, a bill that would have protected the Dreamers failed to get through the Senate, with much debate over the proposed funding for a border wall.

Contact an experienced Williamson County Immigration Attorney today to get answers to your questions on DACA eligibility and to find out if you or your loved one may have other options to obtain permanent residence in the U.S.

Categories: DACA