A few weeks ago we posted a blog about the Trump Administration defying the Supreme Court's Orders on DACA. In a continued follow up to the July 28, 2020 Memo from Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf regarding the Administration's approach to DACA at this time, USCIS just released Implementing Guidance on the current status of DACA.
It's a disappointment, but not a surprise, that USCIS has announced that no new DACA applications will be received at this time from those who have never before applied for DACA (previous DACA recipients may still send in renewal applications). Rejections of new applications will be without prejudice, meaning applicants will be able to reapply should USCIS begin accepting new requests in the future. Again, renewal applications for DACA recipients will still be accepted.
If you are a current DACA recipient, one of the most important things that the new Guidance addresses is Advanced Parole.
Advanced parole, the permission given to certain noncitizens who are already present in the United States, but wish to leave the country and return, is given for DACA recipients on a discretionary basis, and will now only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
USCIS announced the following directives, which have been summarized and explained by AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers' Association):
- Advance Parole Based on DACA Will Only Be Granted in Exceptional Circumstances: The USCIS guidance states that advance parole applications based on DACA will generally be rejected, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Examples of travel that may qualify as exceptional 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 DACA recipient in the United States
- Travel needed to support the immediate safety, well-being, or care of an immediate relative, particularly minor children of the DACA recipient.
- Pending Advance Parole Applications Will Be Rejected; Applicants Can Refile Under New Guidance: USCIS said it will reject and return the fees for all Form I-131 applications that have been held since July 24, 2020, stating that it would be more efficient and fair for applicants to refile their applications under the new guidance because applicants did not have prior knowledge of the new guidance. Any previously approved advance parole documents issued to DACA recipients remain valid for the specified validity period.
While decisions on DACA implementation have seemed to change many times in the last few months, this latest DACA guidance will likely stick for a while, at least until the election. As always, we will keep you informed and updated if/when any changes regarding DACA take place.
If you are unsure of what this latest announcement from the Administration means for you, please contact our office at 757-422-8472 or through our website.