There is a lot of false and misleading information on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program right now, especially after a U.S. District Court in Texas found that DACA was illegal. However, recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released information to quell some of those fears.
First, DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice disagree with the Southern District of Texas’s illegality finding. As such, DHS and DOJ are appealing that decision.
What has not changed
For those already approved for DACA by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the court’s order does not affect them. Essentially, the court allowed USCIS to maintain the program; it just stopped any additional approvals. This means that renewals and employment authorizations are still happening and will continue to be done.
What has changed
New approvals stop as of July 16, 2021, the date the court decision was handed down. This means that anyone who applied after this point cannot be approved for DACA, but they can still submit their applications.
This could still affect those who have been approved, if they let their DACA renewal go past one year from the expiration date. At that point, they would be qualified as a new applicant. This also includes anyone who voluntarily withdrew their application or gave up their DACA status. In other words, no new approvals can be done now, but renewals will continue.
Can one still apply?
Yes. USCIS is still encouraging those that want DACA status to apply. Each DACA application will remain on hold/pending status and refunds will not be issued. Though, presuming they will process applications on a first-come-first served basis once processing resumes, it may be a good idea for those in Greensboro, North Carolina, to apply now, or at least contact an attorney to weigh one’s options.