Stringent Limitations Imposed on DACA Recipients – Future Of 21,000 Indians In Limbo

Just a month after The US Supreme Court upheld the legitimacy of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will make some stringent changes to its execution.

Although USCIS rejected a proposal to increase the DACA recipients’ renewal fee to $765, the new changes announced by the DHS will severely limit the people already in the program and deny admission to those who are yet to apply even if they are eligible. The current fee for DACA renewal remains at $475  , the same it was since 2017.

What Is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a United States immigration policy that allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit.

What Are The New Changes To DACA?

DACA which protects certain undocumented immigrants from deportation and gives them a chance to seek gainful employment in the US, will now see the following changes, effective immediately:

  • All renewals will be limited to one year instead of the original two and considered only on case-by-case basis;
  • All new DACA applications will be rejected, even if they fulfil all eligibility criteria;
  • All petitions for Employment Authorization Documents, work permits that is normally permitted under DACA rules will be denied;
  • Except for those under certain circumstances, all new and pending requests for advanced parole will be rejected;

These changes are effective until the US government completes a thorough and comprehensive review of the DACA program and find justifications to completely shut the DACA program down. 

While lawsuits against these changes are anticipated, these imposed changes have left thousands of eligible DACA recipients on the streets with no legal standing. Their future, until then is unknown.

While current processing times for anything related to DACA is about seven months, it highly recommended that all eligible DACA petitioners speak with an immigration lawyer before making any changed to their immigration status.