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New DACA application approvals on pause

On July 16, 2021, a Texas federal district judge ruled that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it created the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program in 2012.

The court held that Department of Homeland Security can continue to process DACA renewals and can accept new DACA applications, but may not approve new applications.

Government Statements After the ruling

On July 17, 2021, the White House announced that the government will appeal the decision. The White House also announced that DHS plans to issue a proposed rule concerning DACA soon.

On July 17, 2021, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that they remain focused on safeguarding DACA and will engage the public in a rule making process to preserve and fortify DACA.

On July 19, 2021, acting USCIS director Tracy Renaud announced that all individuals whose DACA requests were granted before July 16 will continue to have and be eligible to renew DACA, and to request and receive advance parole. USCIS also stated that it would publish a notice of proposed rule making to strengthen and fortify DACA through the rule making process.

What it means for DACA recipients as of July 16, 2021:

  • If you have DACA now, it is still valid.

  • If you have a DACA renewal application pending, you can keep renewing until further notice.

  • If you have a pending initial DACA application, there is an indefinite freeze on that application.

  • If you are eligible for DACA but haven’t applied yet, USCIS can accept your application but can’t process it.

  • If you have advance parole through DACA, it is still valid.

  • If you have DACA and a pending advance parole application, USCIS will still process it.


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