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DACA is Still Alive, Now What? Filing DACA Applications in the Wake of Federal Court Rulings

On August 3, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order reinstating that the rescinding of DACA was unlawful and unjust. This order reaffirmed the April 24, 2018 ruling that required DACA to be fully restored. The current court order is being held for 20 days to allow the government time to decide if they will chose to appeal the decision. The order will be held until August 23, 2018 allowing the government time to retrieve a stay pending appeal if necessary.

The previous court order held on April 24, 2018 allowed the government to “better explain its view that DACA is unlawful” before making any permanent decisions on its future. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a memorandum that declined to disturb the initial September 5, 2017 memorandum which revoked DACA. Nielsen professed to offer a more comprehensive explanation to the reasoning for DHS’s decision to rescind DACA. In July 2018, the government stated that the memorandum created by Secretary Nielsen proved that the initial revoke of DACA was not unlawful.

The current August 3, 2018 order denies the option of revisiting the April 24, 2018 order and allots a 20 day waiting period a decision to be made. If the court order goes into effect without any appeals, DACA will become reinstated as of August 23, 2018. This reinstatement will allow DACA renewals to continue to be processed and USCIS will begin to accept new DACA applications for those who wish to be protected under DACA.

The injunction hearing for the Southern District of Texas case, Texas v. Nielsen could affect the court's decision and future of DACA. Texas v. Nielsen is fighting the legality of DACA and requesting to block all DACA renewals and new applications. After the hearing on August 8th, 2018, the judge requested more briefing one a specific issue that must be filed by the end of this coming Monday. If the judge decides to issue an injunction against DACA and has USCIS seize application renewal, USCIS could all together stop accepting renewal applications if that order is not “stayed.”

At this time, USCIS is still processing and accepting DACA renewal applications for those who are eligible and have already been approved for DACA. Unfortunately USCIS is still not accepting any new DACA applications and no other changes to the program have arose. All DACA holders that need to renew their DACA should do so as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding the current state of DACA, please contact Attorney Nicholas J. Mireles at NicholasMireleslegal@gmail.com.

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