The United States is currently facing the longest government shutdown in history. Thousands of government workers continue to be without paychecks, our national parks are being impacted, and the consequences of the mess in Washington D.C. are being felt across the nation. One office that continues to run and process documents during this period of trouble is the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. More specifically, immigration petitions that are already in progress will continue to be processed and will not be abandoned during this time.
One specific immigration program that has been in many headlines during the time of the Trump administration is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. According to the Informed Immigrant website, “The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established in 2012 and granted eligible individuals who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 with a temporary, renewable two-year work permit and protection from deportation.”
Further, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed certiorari (cert) to the Supreme Court in order to have the decision of the lower court reviewed, all with the intention of ending the DACA program instituted by the Obama administration in 2012. The Supreme Court will be deciding whether to grant or deny the request as early as January 2019, according to the latest update on the Informed Immigrant website. If the request is granted, the Supreme Court would begin oral arguments in April 2019, with a final ruling expected by June 2019.
Simply put, the trajectory of DACA is uncertain at the moment and the government shutdown continues to add stress and confusion to the many undocumented young people living in the United States. Those who currently hold DACA status and whose DACA is set to expire in the next 6 months are encouraged to submit their renewal request as soon as possible. United We Dream has created a detailed and easy-to-follow DACA Renewal Guide, which outlines the steps needed to renew and links various other resources. There is even a DACA Renewal Fund set up to provide financial assistance to those needing it for renewal. Renewals should not be discouraged due to the government shutdown. DACA beneficiaries have rights that are still protected for the time being.
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