In an Order dated January 9, 2018, the U.S. District Court in California v DHS issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (“DACA”) as it relates to renewals. The court ordered DHS “to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis on the same terms and conditions as were in effect before the rescission on September 5, 2017, including allowing DACA enrollees to renew their enrollments.” The administration has vowed to appeal and will likely seek to place this ruling on hold in the appellate court. Until that happens, however, the Order provides that DHS must accept certain DACA renewals as of today. The Order makes it clear, though, that DHS does not have to accept applications from individuals that have not previously filed for DACA.

The Order creates the possibility of DACA renewal for those DACA recipients whose status is expiring, and who would not be able to renew DACA but for the Order. In order to take advantage of this potential opening, DACA recipients must move quickly. In addition, they must understand that proceeding with a DACA renewal under these circumstances could result in a denial, and that legal fees and filing fees incurred could therefore be lost.

We do not know whether the courts will uphold the injunction, or if DHS will honor it. We believe, nonetheless, that those who file for renewal will have a better chance of receiving DACA renewal than those who don’t file for renewal, regardless of the outcome of the litigation.

GKH attorneys pride themselves on being on the forefront of new immigration developments to best serve clients located around the world. Please call the GKH Immigration Group toll free at 888-463-8117 for more information or representation in your immigration process. We help clients through the internet from around the U.S. and the world.

Brittany Thomas Faith is a member of GKH's Immigration practice group and focuses her practice on immigration including Deferred Action for DREAMers, family based immigration petitions, and employment based petitions. She is committed to providing personalized, cost-effective immigration services for her clients around the world and across the U.S. Ms. Faith is very active in the legal community. She currently the Vice Chair of American Immigration Lawyers’ Association Midsouth Chapter and President of the Chattanooga Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Past President of the South East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. She also serves on the boards of, La Paz of Chattanooga, the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and Mid-South Immigration Advocates. She is also a member of the Foreign Ministry of Mexico’s PALE program, which provides legal advice to Mexican nationals residing in the U.S. She can be reached at bfaith@gkhpc.com.

David Elliott has been practicing immigration and business law for over 21 years at GKH. A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from Duke University School of Law. He enjoys helping businesses, families and individuals with immigration and business issues. He can be reached at delliott@gkhpc.com.