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DACA Updates

UW students, faculty, or staff affected by changes to the DACA Program or who have immigration concerns please contact the UW College of Law at 307-766-2397 or mjenki14@uwyo.edu

September 2, 2021

On July 16, 2021, DACA was greatly impacted by a district court decision in Texas, et al., v. United States of America, et al., 1:18-CV-00068, (S.D. Texas July 16, 2021). The district court in this case held that the DACA program is unlawful and remanded the DACA policy to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The federal government has subsequently announced that it intends to appeal the decision.

Due to the remand as well as the pending appeal, more changes to DACA are soon to come. For up to date information during these uncertain times, students can refer to this webpage, the USCIS website, as well as the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s DACA Toolbox .

Current state of DACA for first time applicants:

  • USCIS is still accepting first-time DACA applications along with accompanying requests for employment authorization. HOWEVER, USCIS is prohibited from processing or approving new applications.

  • If you have an initial DACA request currently pending with USCIS, your request will remain on hold in compliance with the court order and will not be processed or approved at this time. However, if you filed a DACA renewal request and are scheduled for biometrics after July 16, 2021, USCIS is directing that you still attend your scheduled biometrics appointment and proceed with the DACA renewal process.

  • USCIS has stated that because initial DACA requests will remain on hold, it will not issue refunds while the court order remains in effect. Therefore, USCIS will not refund the $495.00 application fee for first-time DACA applicants at this time.

  • During the pendency of the court’s remand and the Department of Justice’s appeal, it is not clear if there is any advantage to submitting an initial DACA request right now. In the meantime, persons should continue to be screened for DACA eligibility and other forms of relief in case there are additional developments in the coming weeks and months.

Current state of DACA for applicants looking to renew their status:

  • USCIS is continuing to process DACA renewal requests according to existing policy for people who already obtained DACA status before July 16, 2021.

  • People who previously obtained DACA on or before July 16, 2021, but whose status has expired can continue submitting requests and getting those requests approved so long as it has not been one year or more since the expiration date. Unfortunately, USCIS treats requests filed a year or more after the expiration as initial DACA requests and is currently prevented from processing or approving them.

  • Persons should continue to submit their DACA renewals 120 to 150 days before their DACA and employment authorization expire.

  • USCIS has clarified that it will continue to approve Advance Parole requests for persons who currently have DACA and meet all other requirements. That being said, it is important to discuss the risks associated with upcoming changes to the DACA policy with an immigration attorney before deciding to travel outside the United States.

  • Persons should continue to submit their DACA renewals 120 to 150 days before their DACA and employment authorization expire. 

 

January 21, 2021

President Biden has issued an executive order strengthening the existing DACA program. Shortly after taking office on January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to "fortify and preserve DACA." The order made no changes to the current DACA program. The President also presented a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress which would include a path to citizenship for current DACA holders. 

Please check this page for updates as we learn more. If you are a member of the UW community and have questions or need help with DACA or related issues, please contact Jamie Crawford at the College of Law (jcrawf17@uwyo.edu).

 

December 8, 2020

A U.S. federal court has ordered the full restoration of the original DACA program as created by President Obama's 2012 executive order. 

As of December 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will:

  • accept new, first-time DACA applications

  • accept renewal applications for current DACA holders or former DACA recipients whose status has lapsed

  • accept applications for advance parole travel authorization

  • extend 1-year grants of DACA to 2 years

  • extend 1-year DACA employment authorization to 2 years

An applicant may be considered for DACA if he/she/they:

  1. Were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012;

  2. Arrived in the U.S. before reaching age 16;

  3. Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 until the present moment;

  4. Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and on the date of DACA application;

  5. Had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;

  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general educational development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard;

  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

  8. And are at least 15 years of age.

Students, staff, and members of the University of Wyoming community who believe that they qualify for DACA for the first time or who wish to renew current grants of DACA may contact Jamie Crawford (jcrawf17@uwyo.edu) at the College of Law's Center for International Human Rights and Legal Advocacy for assistance.

September 14, 2020

After the Supreme Court’s June 18, 2020 DACA decision, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued changes to the DACA program’s policies and procedures:

As of August 21, 2020:
·New, first-time DACA applications will be rejected by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

·USCIS will accept initial applications filed by people who previously had DACA, and your validity period expired more than a year prior.

·DACA renewal applications will be accepted. Renewals will be limited to one year. Previous two-year DACA grants will remain valid.

·USCIS will reject DACA renewal applications submitted more than 150 days before the expiration of your current DACA validity period.

·Applications for advance parole based on DACA will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as: international travel to support the national security interests of the United States, international travel in furtherance of U.S. federal law enforcement interests, international travel to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment not available in the United States, international travel necessary to support the immediate safety, well-being, or care of an immediate relative.

·Currently pending advance parole applications will be rejected and applicants will need to re-file under the August 21, 2020 rules.

·USCIS will continue to follow its DACA information sharing policy outlined in the DACA FAQs (see Q19): https://www.uscis.gov/archive/frequently-asked-questions



For assistance with DACA renewal applications or DACA advance parole applications, please contact Golten Fellow Jamie Crawford at jcrawf17@uwyo.edu

 

 

June 23, 2020

On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security cannot immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Court's ruling is narrow; the Court acknowledged that the administration has the right to rescind DACA, but it found that the Department of Homeland Security failed to rationalize its decision adequately as required by the Administrative Procedures Act. The Court ruled that the manner in which the Trump administration ended the DACA program was "arbitrary and capricious" and thus improper. The Supreme Court declined to rule on the merits of the DACA program itself.

Current DACA students may maintain their enrollment in the DACA program, keep their current work authorization, and renew DACA if required. It is unclear if the Supreme Court's order requires the Department of Homeland Security to accept new, first-time applications. However, because the Trump administration may choose to pursue other options for ending the DACA program, we advise potential first-time applicants to wait for further clarity from the federal agency responsible for adjudicating (approving or denying) DACA applications, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as further information from immigration advocates.

The University of Wyoming College of Law will continue to update the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion DACA resources page as we learn more about the impact of the Supreme Court's decision. Please direct any questions regarding legal developments to Jamie Crawford, Robert J. Golten Law Fellow of International Human Rights, Center for International and Human Rights Law and Advocacy at jcrawf17@uwyo.edu.


 

April 21, 2020

The College of Law's Golten Fellow, Jamie Crawford, recommends that anyone currently under DACA should consider applying to renew DACA immediately, especially if you have one year or less remaining before expiration.
 
The Supreme Court will likely issue a decision on the DACA case (Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California) soon. According to national advocacy organizations in Washington D.C., it is possible that the decision could come as early as a week from now. In any event, a final decision is expected no later than June 2020. While it is impossible to know at this time what the Supreme Court will decide, many advocacy groups believe the most likely result is that the Supreme Court will end the DACA program, but that USCIS will still process renewal applications received on or before the date of the Supreme Court's decision. We hope that current DACA holders will continue to be able to work and to be protected from deportation, even after the Supreme Court decision. But we expect those protections will only last until the current DACA grant expires. Note that renewals are granted for 2 years from the time of the renewal application, not from the current expiration date. 

If you need assistance applying to renew your DACA, please contact Golten Fellow Jamie Crawford via email at jcrawf17@uwyo.edu. She especially urges those with recent arrests or criminal charges to reach out for assistance.

For additional information or if you have questions, please contact: 

Jamie Crawford 

Robert J. Golten Fellow of International Human Rights 

Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy 

University of Wyoming College of Law 

307-766-2397 or immsupport@uwyo.edu

http://www.uwyo.edu/law/centers/ihrla/index.html

 

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