- The federal government is now accepting applications to renew permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
- The Trump administration had begun phasing out the program in September and intended to terminate it on March 5.
- A federal judge in California on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to continue processing DACA renewal applications.
Citing a recent court order, the Trump administration on Saturday resumed processing young unauthorized immigrants’ applications to renew their protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“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and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017,” the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency announced on its website.
USCIS said young immigrants who have previously received DACA, and whose protections expired after the Trump administration announced the program’s termination, may file renewal applications.
The agency added that no new DACA applications will be accepted from immigrants who had not previously been protected under the program.
The Trump administration had said in September it would phase out DACA by March 5, giving Congress six months to enact a legislative solution that permanently resolved the fate of young immigrants who have lived in the US illegally since childhood.
The Trump administration also allowed DACA recipients with near-term expiry dates to renew their two-year protections one last time, so long as they submitted their applications before an October 5, 2017 deadline.
As of September 2017, there were roughly 690,000 young immigrants protected by DACA, but thousands have already begun losing their protections in recent months. An estimated 22,000 eligible DACA recipients either did not or could not apply for renewal before the deadline, and roughly 1,900 of those who attempted renewal saw their applications lost or delayed in the mail and subsequently rejected.
But a federal judge in California on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from ending the program, and ordering the government to resume processing DACA renewal applications.
DACA was first implemented by the Obama administration in 2012, and offered the immigrants temporary work authorization and protection from deportation.
The Trump administration’s termination of the program launched lawmakers into a frenzy in recent weeks as the March deadline draws near. Democrats vowed to pass a legislative fix by the January 19 budget deadline, but negotiations devolved recently after President Donald Trump and some Republicans demanded certain hardliner immigration reforms in exchange for codifying DACA protections.
Talks took a further turn for the worse on Thursday after Trump reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” during an immigration-related meeting with lawmakers, and asked why the US had to accept immigrants from those places.