Today, 11 million people live in the United States as undocumented immigrants, and a substantial portion of this population is comprised of individuals who were brought here as children. These young people know the United States as their only home. Many of them have depended on an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to avoid deportation.
When Trump took office, however, he almost immediately tried to eliminate the program. He was met with nationwide resistance in the form of federal court injunctions. Fortunately, when the Supreme Court heard the case three years later, it issued a ruling that said Trump’s attempt to end the program was unlawful.
Despite this ruling, DHS (under the direction of Acting Secretary Chad Wolf) decided to limit the program anyway. Instead of renewing current DACA recipients' status for two years at a time, it began to grant one-year renewals. DHS also continued to reject initial DACA requests and advance parole requests from current DACA holders.
Thankfully, a federal judge issued a ruling in November that invalidated the DHS’s recent policies because they were put in place by an acting secretary who was not lawfully appointed. Less than one month later, on December 4th, the same judge directly ordered DHS to reinstate DACA fully.
When Obama first established DACA, hundreds of thousands of people could obtain temporary status and avoid deportation. Since 2017, when Trump moved to rescind the program, over a million additional people have become eligible for DACA.
In addition to protecting recipients against deportation, DACA allows recipients to obtain work authorization and Social Security numbers. President-elect Joe Biden has also promised to push for legislation that provides a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. Whether he will
be able to follow through on this promise may depend on who controls the Senate, which we will find out after the Georgia run-off elections in January.
Let Our Law Firm Support You
At The E.A. Wood Law Firm, our attorneys understand how stressful the last four years may have been for you and your loved ones. We want you to know that you have the right to pursue your immigration goals despite the legal obstacles that may stand in your way, and we want to be your dependable advocates from start to finish. With more than 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge and resources needed to maximize your likelihood of success.