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For the first time since the Trump Administration tried to end the program in 2017, USCIS is again accepting applications from first-time applicants and applications for advance parole (permission to leave the country and reenter) for humanitarian, educational, and employment purposes.
Following Friday’s federal court decision in the Batalla Vidal v. Wolf lawsuit, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its website with a notice confirming that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been restored in full to its pre-2017 form.
As a result of Friday’s decision, work authorization will again be issued in two-year intervals.
This action follows the court’s finding that Chad Wolf, who claimed to be the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, did not have the legal authority to issue the July 2020 memorandum dismantling DACA, because he was unlawfully appointed.
After the Supreme Court in June struck down the Trump administration’s unlawful attempt to terminate DACA, Wolf issued a memorandum blocking first-time DACA applications, cutting renewals from two years to one, and drastically reducing the ability of DACA recipients to travel abroad on advance parole. In August, DACA-eligible youth, first-time applicants and DACA recipients filed a legal challenge against the memo, arguing that it unlawfully and drastically altered the program, and that it was issued without legal authority. On November 14, the court sided with the plaintiffs.
In addition, the court granted plaintiffs’ request to be certified as the representatives of a nationwide class of approximately one million DACA-eligible individuals across the country. Class members can sign up to receive informative updates at dacaclassaction.org.
While the government may appeal the decision and another federal judge in Texas may rule in a separate DACA case in the coming month, all eligible individuals are encouraged to consult with an immigration attorney about applying. For further information on the case and for forthcoming resources for class members, visit: dacaclassaction.org.
The named plaintiffs in Batalla Vidal v. Wolf are Martín Batalla Vidal, Antonio Alarcón, Eliana Fernandez, Carolina Fung Feng, Carlos Vargas, Johana Larios, M.B.F., Ximena Zamora, Sonia Molina, and Make the Road New York. The class is represented by Make the Road New York, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School.