Updates to the DACA Program

On December 5, 2020 a federal judge ruled that the government must fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This program protects the more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived in the United States as children from being deported back to their birth countries. This ruling was a massive blow to the Trump administration, who had been working since 2017 to dismantle DACA and render childhood arrivals subject to deportation. With the new Biden administration sworn in last week, it is important to know where the DACA program stands for children that may fall under its protection.

At the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, our team of dedicated immigration attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have about the DACA program as well as any other immigration issues. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

Recent Court Updates with DACA

In June 2020, the United States Supreme Court declared that the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program was arbitrary and capricious, and as such it was a violation of federal law. The Supreme Court ruling preserved the DACA program and its protections, which allowed DACA recipients to continue to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation or detention. The ruling also allowed people who had previously fallen under DACA protections to continue to apply and or renew their status as a DACA recipient in order to continue to receive benefits.

In July 2020, the Trump administration issued a new order that worked to dismantle the program by denying new applications and limiting renewal periods for existing recipients of DACA, among other restrictions. This memo led to court ruling in December 2020, where a federal judge ordered the full restoration of the DACA program.

What Restoration of the Program Means for DACA Recipients

The most recent court decision in December 2020 reinstated a number of benefits for DACA recipients and applicants to the program. Under the new ruling, the federal government was required to do the following:

  • Open the DACA program up to first-time applicants, providing protection for up to an additional 300,000 people,
  • Return the renewal period for existing DACA recipients to two years, up from the one year limitation imposed by the Trump administration, and
  • Allow DACA recipients to apply for travel outside of the United States for educational, employment, or humanitarian reasons.

Continuing DACA Protection

On January 20, 2021 President Biden issued a presidential memorandum in favor of preserving the DACA program. The memo instructs members of the federal government to take all actions within the law to preserve and protect the DACA program; however, it does not make any substantive changes to the program. If you are interested in applying for or renewing your status as a DACA recipient, talk to an experienced immigration attorney today.

Call or Contact Our Office

At The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, our team is prepared to assist you with all your immigration legal needs, including applying for or renewing your status under the federal DACA program. Call or contact us today to learn more.