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No action on DACA, but get renewals in quickly

If you are a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, this week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court bought you a little extra time. The land’s highest court declined to take any action on the present administration’s petition to abolish the DACA program for the participants known as “Dreamers.”

That leaves in place the lower court’s ruling prohibiting the administration from dismantling the program. However, the deputy executive director for United We Dream, a group that advocates for young immigrants who have no permanent legal status to remain in the United States, urges Dreamers not to become complacent.

The Supreme Court can, and likely will, revisit the issue at their upcoming session scheduled for October, unless Congress or the Trump administration takes some other interim action. To remain compliant with the program and eligible to legally work here, the deputy executive director says that Dreamers need to send in their DACA renewals as soon as possible.

As the DACA program is for two years, renewing before any Supreme Court rulings could enforce DACA protections until some point in 2021. The present recommendations are to renew at least five months in advance of the expiration date, but the rapid-fire policy shifts of the current administration in Washington, D.C., lends a certain urgency to the situation. As the deputy executive director of United We Dream noted, “We have no idea what the…administration will do.”

The ongoing shutdown of the federal government has drawn DACA into the standoff between the president and Congress over the proposed erection of a multi-billion-dollar border wall. A recent proposal by the administration to end the government shutdown included extending DACA benefits for another three years.

Regardless of any political machinations up in Washington, Dreamers here in South Louisiana need to keep abreast of any developments that could potentially affect their status as DACA recipients. Working closely with your immigration attorney now in these uncertain times is prudent, as any changes to the DACA program’s status quo could place hardworking Dreamers at risk of facing immigration action that might include deportation.