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Thursday, January 18, 2018

DACA Renewals: Federal Court Ruling & What You Need to Know

On Jan. 9th, 2018, a Federal District Court judge in California issued an order mandating that USCIS resume accepting DACA applications for most individuals who have previously been granted DACA.  Although the Trump administration is appealing this order to higher courts, until further notice, DACA renewals will be accepted, based on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.

1)     Who is eligible to apply?
Anyone who has previously been granted DACA is eligible to apply.  Depending on when your DACA expires (or expired) there are different processes for completing your application (explained below).
IMPORTANT:  Only individuals who have previously been granted DACA are eligible to apply under this court order.  If you have never been granted DACA in the past (even if you would have previously been eligible to apply), you CANNOT apply under this order.

2)    How do I apply?
a.       If your DACA is EXPIRED:
1.       If your DACA expired ON OR AFTER Sept 5th, 2016 you may send USCIS a DACA Renewal Application:
·        Forms to fill out: Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and Form I-765WS Worksheet.
2.      If your DACA expired BEFORE September 5, 2016, you must complete an INITIAL DACA application:
·        All applicants must include the date their DACA expired or will expire on Part 1 of the Form I-821D, and complete all sections of the I-821D (including those indicated as “for initial applications only”).
·         All applicants must include the supporting documentation necessary for an initial application (including proof that the applicant meets the education requirement, proof of entry before age 16, proof of continuous presence and related documents).

b.      If your DACA is NOT YET EXPIRED:
1.       If your DACA expires in the next 150 days:
·         You should be able to file to renew your DACA status using Forms I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS.
2.      If your DACA expires in MORE than 150 days:
·         It is unclear if USCIS will adjudicate these applications.  Applicants can submit applications, but USCIS may reject them or decline to process them.

3)     What are the risks of applying?
a.       There is no guarantee that USCIS will fully process your DACA application.   The Trump administration is appealing this decision and a higher court may allow USCIS to stop processing these applications.
b.      You may lose your $495 application fee. 
c.       Any new information you submit to USCIS, including personal information such as your address and criminal history, may be shared with immigration enforcement agents.  Although USCIS says it is only sharing this information in certain limited circumstances right now, that could change in the future.

4)    Remember: The DACA Renewal window is temporary.  If you and a trusted legal service provider determine you qualify, apply immediately!
a.      The Department of Justice has appealed the DACA decision and is looking to take this fight to the Supreme Court.
b.      Join a local DACA Renewal Workshop / Clinic on January 27th at the Mexican Consulate in Portland, find more information at
c.      More events may be scheduled, check for additional information.

5)     The fight to pass a CLEAN DREAM ACT continues!
a.       Legislation like the Dream Act is the only permanent solution. Continue to organize!

6)    Know Your Rights!
a.       Remember, if you encounter an ICE agent or police officer, you have the right to:
4.      DENY ENTRY TO YOUR HOME (without a signed judicial warrant)

7)     Consult with an attorney or trusted legal service provider to determine if you qualify
a.       Understand your legal options & find out if you might be eligible for a permanent immigration benefit. Visit this legal directory to find an immigration attorney near you. 

Source: National Immigration Law Center, CASA & The Resurrection Project (Updated: 1/16/18)


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