August 15, 2018 marks the six-year anniversary of the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. For much of the past year it’s been under threat. Federal courts have given DACA a temporary reprieve and kept the program alive, but it’s important to remember that this may only be temporary. That’s why it’s so important to renew your DACA status now because the window to renew could close at any time.
Here’s the latest. Last week, federal district judge Andrew Hanen heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Texas state attorney general and others, who are suing for an immediate end to DACA. Judge Hanen has a record of ruling against immigrants’ interests, so there were fears that he might make a decision against DACA on the same day of the hearing. Instead, he asked the parties to the lawsuit to return to him with additional information, likely at a future hearing, which remains to be scheduled.
With proceedings in Judge Hanen’s court dragging out a bit longer than expected, orders by judges in California and New York will still stand, which allow those who are currently enrolled, or who were previously enrolled, to renew their DACA status.
Meanwhile, time is ticking on implementation of an order by a federal judge in the District of Columbia, which would restart the DACA program in full, meaning new applications could be accepted from those who have never been enrolled in DACA, starting August 23. However, the U.S. Department of Justice is appealing that order to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It remains to be seen what the appeals court will decide. This case, and all the others, could end up going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While there’s uncertainty about how these court cases will play out, we do know that DACA renewals are being accepted now. The National Immigration Law Center has produced a helpful guide to help understand these legal cases and answer the practical question “should I renew my DACA now?”
Click here to renew your DACA.
Help a DACA recipient pay for their renewal fees by donating to the DACA Renewal Fund here.