January 2018 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information
Beginning January 13, 2018, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must resume accepting DACA renewal applications. This change is due to a lawsuit challenging USCIS’s decision to end the program last fall. USCIS will continue accepting DACA renewal applications, at least while the lawsuit is pending, unless a higher court over rules the injunction. IT IS NOT CERTAIN HOW LONG THE COURT’S ORDER WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT. If you believe you are eligible to renew your DACA, you should take steps to file your application as soon as possible.
Below is a brief summary of the changes to the DACA program as of January 9, 2018:
- If you have never had DACA before, no new DACA applications will be accepted. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/USCIS will not accept or process first-time applications.
- If you currently have DACA, your DACA is valid until its expiration date. Both DACA and work permits/EAD will remain valid until their designated expiration date.
- If you have ever had DACA in the past, you may now apply to renew your DACA, even if it has expired.
- However, if your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, you will need to file for renewal as though you are making an initial request, and include proof that you are eligible, such as school records, leases, car titles and utility bills.
- Your application must include a check or money order for $495 made payable to “US Department of Homeland Security.”
If you are not sure whether you are eligible to renew your DACA, or if you have had any criminal convictions or you have ever been in deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings, you should speak with an immigration attorney as soon as possible.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you meet the guidelines set forth by USCIS for renewal, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (CCAD) is available to provide legal assistance in this process. For this time period, CCAD Immigration Attorney, Emily Rebelskey, can assist to help file DACA renewals. Please contact our Cedar Rapids office at 319-364-7121 to schedule an appointment.
For more information on DACA updates:
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque – www.catholiccharitiesdubuque.org
Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) – https://cliniclegal.org/daca