DACA

The Supreme Court DACA Decision in Department of Homeland Security vs. UC Regents 

On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court held that the Trump Administration’s termination of DACA violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The termination was deemed to be in error because the Department of Homeland Security did not take into account the reliance interests of the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who have obtained employment, pursued educational programs and military service, bought homes and had children in the United States under the protection of this program. The termination additionally did not take into account lesser measures the Trump Administration could have taken to terminate the program, for instance by terminating the issuance of work permits but continuing to authorize prosecutorial discretion to prevent the deportation of Dreamers.

On July 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement indicating that while they look at terminating DACA, they will limit grants of Deferred Action to one-year increments and reject any initial DACA applications. USCIS issued a memo on August 21, 2020, implementing this guidance. As of August 21, 2020, USCIS will start rejecting any initial DACA applications, rejecting most applications for renewal filed outside the 150-day window, and reject most applications for DACA Advance Parole.

There are several pending lawsuits that will address this latest attempt at termination. This site will be updated when there is new information, or see the DACA litigation page from the National Immigration Law Center

 

The State of DACA & Legal Services

Free legal services and filing fee assistance is available for low-income Californians with 150 days or less before their current DACA expires. All appointments will be conducted by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please book a telephonic appointment if you want to renew your DACA:

CARECEN-LA:

CARECEN-SFV: 

  • Please call 213-385-7800 x 122 to make a telephonic appointment

TO RENEW YOUR DACA, MAKE SURE TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Current Work Permit
  • Copy of previous DACA application, if possible (if this is your first time doing a DACA request at CARECEN)
  • Money Order for $495
  • Passport (if you have one, even if expired)
  • *Any documents that reflect name changes (i.e. marriage certificate or divorce papers)
  • **Final Court Dispositionif you have a criminal history or record

FAQs

Can I renew my DACA?

Yes, as long as you are within the 150-day window before your current status expires. If you are outside the 150-day window, USCIS will likely reject your application.

What if my DACA is expired?

You can continue to submit renewal applications if your DACA is expired, as this has been possible since the termination. If your DACA status has been expired for more than one year, you will need to submit an initial application showing that you continue to meet all of the requirements to qualify for DACA.

Can I apply for DACA for the first time?

USCIS has stated that they will reject initial DACA applications at this time.

Could I be deported if I apply for DACA?

The Trump Administration has worked to expand the types of cases that will result in removal proceedings if the applicant is denied. It has specifically exempted DACA from this list of application types due to the pending litigation and the most recent memo restates the policy that information from DACA applications will generally not be shared with ICE for the purpose of initiating removal proceedings. This means that currently, the risk of being placed in removal proceedings is fairly low if the applicant does not have a significant criminal or immigration history. This could change in the future, however, so all applicants need to be aware that this is a risk in applying for DACA. While applying for DACA appears to be relatively safe at this time, there are no guarantees.

Can I apply for Advance Parole?

USCIS has stated that they will reject Advance Parole requests unless there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant a grant. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include:

  • Travel to support the national security interests of the United States including U.S. military interests;
  • Travel in furtherance of U.S. federal law enforcement interests;
  • Travel to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment that is not otherwise available to the alien in the United States;
  • Travel needed to support the immediate safety, well-being, or care of an immediate relative, particularly minor children

If you currently have DACA and believe that you may have an extraordinary circumstance that justifies a grant of Advance Parole, you can email adaubenspeck@carecen-la.org to discuss making an appointment. Please be advised that CARECEN does not have any funding that covers Advance Parole applications, so you will be responsible for paying our $300 legal services fee and the $575 Advance Parole fee. The legal services fee is not refundable if your case is denied or rejected. The $575 Advance Parole fee may or may not be returned by USCIS.

What is the cost to renew DACA?

CARECEN is able to provide free legal services to people whose households earn under 250% of the Federal Poverty Line. You can check your income eligibility here. If your income is higher than that, we charge a $200 - $500 legal services fee, or you can book an appointment through one of our offsite partners, including the Los Angeles Public Library’s New Americans Campaign by calling 213-228-7390 and leaving a message that you wish to book a DACA renewal with CARECEN.

There is currently no USCIS filing fee assistance available and the fee to submit a DACA request is $495. This is payable by credit card, debit card, or money order.