USCIS Re-Opens DACA Renewals

In response to a federal court order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) once again accepts renewal requests to grant continuing deferred action to beneficiaries who’ve previously held Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The court order forces a stand down to President Donald Trump’s recession of the DACA executive order signed into existence by former President Barack Obama.

Calling President Trump’s September decision to end the program “arbitrary” and “capricious,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ordered the government to resume processing of the renewal applications. The decision in the case, brought against the federal government by the University of California, means the program continues as challenges make their way through the courts.

“Until further notice,” according to a USCIS release, “the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.”

Individuals previously granted DACA status file a request for renewal using Form I-821D and Form I-765 along with the appropriate fee or fee exemption request. Individuals with DACA expirations on or after Sept. 5, 2016, list their prior DACA expiration date in the appropriate box in Part I of the Form I-821D. Adding the previous expiration date assists USCIS officials in application processing.

At the same time, “USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.” In addition, “USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients.”

When President Trump ended DACA in September with the intention of shifting the onus of immigration law to Congress, he said the program extended beyond executive authority. Since then, leadership conversations around the topic appear to run both hot and cold as name calling and accusations dominate information around the discussions.

DACA originally went into effect in 2012. Approximately 800,000 individuals brought to the United States as children– Dreamers– are protected from deportation under the program. The program doesn’t bestow legal status and the Department of Homeland Security can terminate an individuals DACA designation at any time.

The agency advises additional information will be forthcoming.