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USCIS Delays Acceptance of Expanded DACA Applications


USCIS Delays Acceptance of Expanded DACA Applications

Contributed by Amber L. Blasingame, Associate Attorney, Colorado Springs

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, as of this afternoon, announced that the agency will not accept applications for the Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Expanded DACA) on February 18, 2015, as originally announced. The agency has also suspended plans to implement and accept requests for the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Applicants who qualified for DACA pursuant to the June 15, 2012, memorandum, either initial or extension, may still file applications per the current filing instructions. http://www.uscis.gov/i-821d.

According to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh C. Johnson, the Department of Justice plans to appeal the temporary injunction. Secretary Johnson “strongly disagree[s] with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of [DAPA] and [expanded DACA].” However, the Secretary recognizes that the agency “must comply with it.” The Department of Justice and “legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts” have agreed that the agency’s actions pursuant to President Obama’s announcement on November 20, 2014, “are well within [the Department’s] legal authority.” Judge Hanen’s decision to grant the injunction in the matter of the State of Texas v. United States, pending in front of the US District Court of Southern District of Texas, is not a final decision on the legality of Obama’s Executive Action, However, the injunction does delay the implementation of any of the Department’s affirmative actions pursuant to the November 20, 2014, announcement. The delays do not affect any existing programs or the enforcement priorities outlined in the “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” memorandum published pursuant to the November 20, 2014, announcement.

Potential beneficiaries of the Executive Action, whether expanded DACA, DAPA, expanded Provisional Waivers, or any other action outlined in the President’s announcement, should watch for government updates from reliable sources on the matter. We would also recommend, before submitting any applications or paying fees, consulting with a licensed attorney who specializes in immigration law or a representative authorized by the Departments of Homeland Security or Justice to provide legal advice on the matter of Executive Action.

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