DHS to Start Accepting New DACA Applications and Extend Renewal to Two Years

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) updated its website to reveal that it would start accepting new applications for the Obama-era program to protect undocumented immigrants who entered the United States when they were children from being forced out of the country.

Revival of DACA Program

On Monday, the agency’s decision follows a recent court order by a federal judge to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program beginning on Friday. The order brought new hope to immigrants who were blocked from applying and receiving the benefits of the program.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would begin accepting new applications for the program on Monday. It would also allow immigrants to file requests for renewal and extend the one-year grants of deferred action and employment authorization documents to two years.

However, the DHS has said there was still an opportunity for an appeal against the order. On its website, the agency said, “DHS will comply with Judge Garaufis’ order while it remains in effect, but DHS may seek relief from the order.”

Judge Nicholas Garaufis’ Friday order supported his ruling in November that found Chad Wolf was not legally that acting secretary of Homeland Secretary when he approved the rules that limited applications and renewals for the immigrant program.

In 2017, the Trump administration had tried to end the DACA program but was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. After the ruling, Wolf released a memo in July that announced new applications for DACA would not be accepted and that renewals would be limited to one year. Experts believe the order was issued to buy time for the administration to decide on the next course of action.

Garaufis’ Friday order addressed the Trump administration’s handling of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The judge ordered the DHS to publicly and prominently provide notice to the public that new applications would be accepted and that renewals would be two years once again, CNN reported.

Public notice

In his order, Garaufis said, “DHS is DIRECTED to post a public notice, within three calendar days of this Order, to be displayed prominently on its website and on the websites of all other relevant agencies, that it is accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA, renewal requests, and advance parole requests, based on the terms of the DACA program prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with this court’s Memorandum & Order of November 14, 2020.”

Additionally, Garaufis criticized Wolf’s appointment, which has seen public scrutiny. DHS previously tried to amend its line of succession by temporarily appointing the Senate-confirmed Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Pete Gaynor and give him the authority of the agency’s secretary position after Wolf’s issue.

Garaufis wrote, “Neither Administrator Gaynor nor Mr. Wolf currently possess, nor have they ever possessed, the powers of the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.”

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.