On August 30, 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new regulation going into effect on October 31, 2022. The new rule strengthens and solidifies the DACA program in the face of ongoing litigation. The following are key highlights regarding the new regulation and the current status of DACA:
- The final rule is similar to the original DACA program, created by an executive order in 2012. Even the requirements remain almost the same. To apply for DACA under the new rule you: must have come to the U.S. when you were under 16 years old; you must have lived in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007; and you must have been physically in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, when you applied for DACA.
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not make any changes to the way DACA recipients apply for work permits.
- People with DACA will still be considered “lawfully present” for some reasons, including getting a Social Security number.
- USCIS will continue to accept affidavits as proof of continuous residence.
Since the injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas is still in place, initial DACA applications cannot be processed yet. Also, there is a pending lawsuit in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Louisiana, to finally determine the legality of DACA. We recall this started last year when Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled, on July 16, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) broke the law when it set up the DACA program; by not following the regulation creation process they had violated the American Procedures Act (APA).
However, the Federal Government believes the pending lawsuit is debatable now that the new regulation is up, and it complied with APA proceedings. A failure on the pending lawsuit in the Fifth Circuit is expected, since now the regulation is codified and that makes it harder to be removed.
If your DACA application still doesn’t have a resolution, or if you need to renew your DACA but feel unsure of the steps to follow, contact us. The J. Molina Law Firm will do everything possible to keep your dreams alive and protect your way of life. Book an appointment online or call us at (469) 708-5800!