On Friday, December 4, 2020, a federal judge ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must be restored to the rules established when the program was created in 2012.
- People who meet the original eligibility criteria but never applied for the program may apply for DACA for the first time.
- DACA recipients may request “advance parole” – permission to travel outside the U.S. and return lawfully under certain circumstances.
- People who already have DACA remain protected from deportation and may continue to renew their work permits under the rules established in 2012.
On December 7, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is complying with the court order by accepting first-time DACA applications and advance parole requests. USCIS also indicated that it is:
- Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and
- Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.
This decision now provides the opportunity for individuals to apply for DACA for the first time. However, the DHS indicated that it may appeal the decision from December 4, 2020. Separate litigation by Texas and six other states challenging the legality of the DACA program is also pending in federal court.
The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) encourages all persons seeking to apply for DACA for the first time, and those seeking to apply for advance parole, to promptly consult with a licensed attorney or authorized nonprofit legal service provider. OIA can help you connect with a legal service provider. Call us at (800) 593-8222.