According to a report from the LAist, many California students are rushing to apply for DACA for the first time in over three years. The spree of applications comes as many vulnerable people are worried that the DACA door could suddenly be slammed shut again at any moment. Below, our Los Angeles DACA attorney discusses the story and explains the key things to know about the future of the program.
A Federal Judge Fully Restored DACA in Early December
In June of 2020, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program won a significant win at the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, in the immediate aftermath, the Trump Administration took action to limit the scope of the victory. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf put new rules in place that barred new applicants from applying for DACA protections.
However, Chad Wolf was never lawfully nominated to serve as the head of the agency. As a consequence, a California federal judge ruled that all of his memos were void. On December 4th, 2020, Judge Nicholas Garaufis fully restored the DACA program — meaning, among other things, that the federal government must accept new applicants.
Many People Can Only Now Apply for the First Time
Immigrant rights organizations estimate that nearly 310,000 people are now eligible to submit an initial DACA application. Of this group, there are approximately 56,000 who turned 15 since the federal government stopped accepting applicants. Notably, that is the minimum age to apply for protection under the program. While students all over the country are affected, California has more DACA-eligible immigrants than any other U.S. state. There are thousands of young people across the Los Angeles region who can only now apply for legal protection.
The Window is Open—But the Future Remains Uncertain
Currently, the window for DACA applications is open. Immigration rights advocates are trying to make sure that every qualified person has the knowledge and tools they need to protect their best interests. As a representative for United We Dream told the LAist said, “We’re on a mad dash to put out as much educational content for folks as possible.” They want to make sure that all students understand that you can currently apply for DACA protections.
In its waning days, the Trump Administration is still considering additional action to restrict the scope of DACA protections. Further, several U.S. states—including Texas, South Carolina, and Nebraska—are still suing to end the program. In contrast, the incoming Biden Administration has repeatedly expressed its support for DACA.
Get Help From Our Los Angeles, CA DACA Lawyer Today
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration law attorney has extensive experience representing DACA applicants. If you have any questions about your options, we are more than happy to help guide you through the process. Contact our team today for a confidential consultation. We serve communities throughout all of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Torrance, Pasadena, Inglewood, and Santa Monica.