2018 DACA Announcement: Trump Administration resumes accepting DACA requests

The federal government said on Saturday that it would resume accepting renewal requests for DACA, a program that shields young immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children from deportation.

The decision came after a federal judge in California, issued a nationwide injunction on Tuesday ordering the Trump administration to resume the DACA program. Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco handed down his ruling writing that the administration must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis” as the legal challenge to the president’s decision goes forward.

In a statement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said that “until further notice,” the Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, “will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded” in September, when President Trump moved to end it. The agency added that people who were previously granted deferred action under the program could request a renewal if it had expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016. People who had previously received DACA, but whose deferred action had expired before Sept. 5, 2016, cannot renew, but can instead file a new request, the agency said. It noted that the same instructions apply to anyone whose deferred action had been terminated. Officials also said they were not accepting requests from individuals who have never been granted deferred action under DACA.

President Barack Obama created the DACA program in 2012 to give young immigrants the ability to work legally in the United States. In attempting to end it in September, President Trump argued that Mr. Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power. The legal battle is one piece of a fierce debate in Washington. Democrats and Republicans have fought for months about how to provide relief for about 800,000 immigrants under the DACA program.

On Sunday morning, Mr. Trump blamed Democrats for preventing progress on a legislative deal that would permanently legalize the young immigrants and give them an eventual path to citizenship in exchange for tougher border security and enforcement measures.

Trump calls for Bill of Love for Dreamers

Donald Trump has sought to strike a harmonious note on immigration reform, suggesting a “bill of love” to protect young undocumented immigrants in the spirit of bipartisanship, while standing by hardline demands Democrats have dismissed as dealbreakers.

“It should be a bill of love,” Mr Trump said, but “it also has to be a bill where we’re able to secure our border. Drugs are pouring into our country at a record pace. A lot of people coming in that we can’t have”.

That split message, part conciliatory and part unyielding, underscored the distance separating the president and Democrats as they seek a resolution on immigration issues that resonate deeply with their respective bases.

The president has said he is committed to a DACA fix, telling members of Congress that “We have something in common — we’d like to see this get done,” and echoing a Democratic talking point about the wide-ranging effects of rescinding the program by noting that “You’re talking about 800,000 people”. He said he would “take the heat” for a comprehensive immigration measure.

But he has sought to use the program as a bargaining chip to win stringent measures limiting both legal and illegal immigration, drawing firm resistance from Democrats who are determined not to yield.

For months, Mr Trump has tied DACA’s fate to the promised border wall with with Mexico that was a centrepiece of his presidential campaign. He has so far failed to secure funding for the project, last week asking Congress for some $18 billion toward the wall.

“I’d love not to build the wall, but you need the wall,” he said, adding that “If you don’t have the wall, you can’t have security”. Later in the day, the President tweeted that “the Wall on the Southern Border...must be part of any DACA approval”.

He has recently expanded his list of demands to include an end to a visa lottery system and “chain migration,” a term advocates of restricted immigration — including the White House — use to describe immigrants eventually bringing their family members to America under the country’s family-reunification-oriented immigration laws.

“Those three things are paramount. These are measures that will make our communities safer and more prosperous,” Mr Trump said.

USCIS Official Statement

Please keep reading for USCIS Official Statement regarding the DACA Program:

Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. 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 Sept. 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). USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. USCIS 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. 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), but may 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 Sept. 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.

_Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. 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. DACA requests will be adjudicated under the guidelines set forth in the June 15, 2012 DACA memo (PDF).

Additional information will be forthcoming. _

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