News alert! On January 9, 2018, California federal judge William Alsup temporarily blocked the Trump Administration's effort to end DACA.
This is great news for DACA recipients! With the judge's order, DACA recipients can resume applying for renewal of their applications, as long as their work permits have expired anytime after September 5, 2016. Further, if you have ever had DACA in the past and let it expire, or it was terminated prior to September 5, 2016, you will be allowed to file an initial DACA application, which is essentially starting over and presenting all evidence that you qualify for DACA. The requirements for an initial DACA application are:
(1) You have entered the U.S. prior to the age of 16;
(2) You have lived in the US continuously since June 2007 to present;
(3) You are currently enrolled in high school, have finished high school, or are currently enrolled in a GED program to get your high school diploma; and
(4) you have no felonies, no DUIs, and no more than 2 misdemeanors.
Unfortunately, those who qualify for DACA, but have never applied in the past, cannot apply now. If you qualify as a previous recipient of DACA, it is imperative that you act immediately, as we do not know how long this decision will hold.
This decision to block the Trump administration came after challenges to Trump's announcement, on September 5, 2017, to end the DACA program that was started by President Obama in August 2012. Since its inception, about 800,000 immigrants have been able to apply and gain legal status under the DACA program. With the Trump administration's announcement of the repeal of DACA, only those whose work permits were set to expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, were allowed to renew their application one final time. This window was intended to give Congress a timeframe to come up with a bill that would protect DACA recipients and the DACA program. However, this caused many, whose work permits expired after the March 5, 2018 deadline, to be in limbo as to their status. As of now, we know that Congress is working on multiple bipartisan bills that seek to protect the DACA program. As more information comes forward, we will let you know.
If you or a loved one have DACA and want to renew or had it and want to reapply, it's essential that you do so immediately while you still can by calling our office at 818-253-1641. We look forward to helping you maintain or regain your legal status.