The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Saturday said that “until further notice,” the Obama-era programme, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), “will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded” in September, when President Trump moved to end it.
“Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA,” the statement said. “Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on September 5, 2017.
“Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may request renewal by filing Form I-821D (PDF), Form I-765 (PDF), and Form I-765 Worksheet (PDF), with the appropriate fee or approved fee exemption request, at the USCIS designated filing location, and in accordance with the instructions to the Form I-821D (PDF) and Form I-765 (PDF),” the statement added.”
But USCIS said it is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.
USCIS also said it will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients.
“If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request. Please list the date your prior DACA ended in the appropriate box on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.”
But USCIS warned: “If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal (because renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA).”
USCIS said applicants can, nonetheless, file a new initial DACA request in accordance with the Form I-821D and Form I-765 instructions.
“To assist USCIS with reviewing your DACA request for acceptance, if you are filing a new initial DACA request because your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, or because it was terminated at any time, please list the date your prior DACA expired or was terminated on Part 1 of the Form I-821D, if available,” the statement said.
“Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion,” it added. “Further, deferred action under DACA does not confer legal status upon an individual and may be terminated at any time, with or without a Notice of Intent to Terminate, at DHS’s discretion.”
On Tuesday, Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco ruled that the Trump administration must “maintain the DACA programme on a nationwide basis” as the legal challenge to the president’s decision goes forward.
In his ruling, the judge laid out a road map for the government that officials appeared to follow.
Judge Alsup said previous beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, must be allowed to renew their status in the programme, although the government would not be required to accept new applications from immigrants who had not previously submitted one.
President Barack Obama created the DACA programme in 2012 to give young Caribbean and other immigrants the ability to work legally in the United States.
In attempting to end it in September, Trump argued that Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power.
But critics of Trump’s decision to end the policy later sued the administration, saying that shutting down the program was arbitrary and done without following the proper legal procedures.
The legal battle is one piece of a fierce debate in Washington. Democrats and Republicans have sparred for months about how to provide relief for about 800,000 immigrants who could face deportation, the Times said.
Trump had met with lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon, in an hour-long televised meeting, to begin negotiations before Judge Alsup handed down his ruling.
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