Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has found itself in the news again after a third federal judge has struck down the Trump administration’s decision to end the policy in October of last year. The cancellation of the program, which allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors to defer deportation through application, was called by US District Judge John Bates, “arbitrary and capricious because the Department [of Homeland Security] failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

However, this further strike against policy does not open DACA up to new applicants, but simply to those working to renew their current deferment. While the current junction allows for the application process to be set at a stand still, Judge Bates decision allows for new renewals to be filed and processed.

While suits are still being filed in California and New York regarding the Trump policy, the uniqueness of Judge Bates decision gives the Department of Homeland Security ninety days to come with a reason as to why they cannot further process already filed renewals.

None of this, however, opens up the opportunity to file new paperwork. The ninety day delay is regarding new filings, not renewals. There are scams suggesting new applications can and will be processed, and there is “legal help available.” However, this is simply inaccurate based on the ruling.

As for right now, those who meet the filing deadline will have their applications processed. Those who are first time or new applicants will have to wait additional time for either the policy to be overturned or other action to happen.

In the meantime, barring the California and New York cases, this is a step in overturning bad policy. Ultimately, policy needs to be crafted to genuinely help those in need who are currently living their lives in limbo. Something must change to positively impact this community, however it is unlikely positive change will happen under the Trump administration.


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Do you have a question for Henry Lim? During over 20 years of practicing law, he has helped more than 10,000 families move to the United States. You can Ask Henry a question at [email protected] or submit a video question by sending a link to one of our channels.  For legal assistance, email or call for an appointment: 407-897-8870. Our first consultation is complimentary.