Citizenship and Immigration Services ordered to take new DACA applications
As of Dec. 4, 2020 the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been fully restored, including for first-time DACA applications, thanks to a new federal court decision. While U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may consider future legal action, for now, USCIS must:
- Accept first-time DACA applications and DACA renewal requests
- Accept applications for advance parole (travel) documents
- Extend one-year DACA statuses to two years
- Extend one-year DACA employment authorization cards to two years
The Citizenship and Immigrations Services website contains updated information regarding these changes, and applications are being accepted now.
After June 18, when the Supreme Court decided that the way the government ended the DACA program in September 2017 was unlawful, USCIS imposed (now removed) restrictions on DACA, including cutting DACA extension periods from two years to just one. This most recent court decision is good news for DACA, as it not only rolls back the restrictions, but also fully restores the DACA program to offer first-time applicants access to two-year work authorization cards and travel documents.
If you're interested in applying for DACA, it is very important to consult with a competent immigration attorney. The City of Minneapolis partners with several nonprofit organizations that provide assistance in immigration law to make sure that everyone in Minneapolis can access accurate, competent and free information and assistance.
In the Minneapolis area, 2.5% of the immigrant population (1,625 people) are DACA eligible. DACA and DACA-eligible residents who cannot afford a private attorney should know that there are competent free legal services available in the Twin Cities area.
People interested in sharing their DACA story and learning more about DACA can visit the Home is Here webpage.
DACA recipients who cannot afford to pay the $495 renewal fee and are citizens of Mexico may contact the Mexican Consulate at 520-612-7874 to learn whether they qualify for assistance in paying the filing fee. Please contact the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs if you are interested in helping a DACA beneficiary pay the DACA renewal fee.