Immigration advocates are urging eligible DACA beneficiaries to take advantage of a court-ordered window and quickly renew the temporary permits that shield from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
A federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was started by President Barack Obama. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Saturday that it will accept renewal applications, but not new applications.
President Donald Trump has attacked the judge’s order, yet his administration has not yet appealed the decision. Even so, it is expected to do so and immigration advocates signaled they know the court’s reprieve for DACA beneficiaries could be short.
“The Trump administration stated that it plans to ‘vigorously’ challenge the district court’s decision. This means that the window of time available for sending in your DACA renewal is uncertain,” the National Immigration Law Center said in a statement urging those eligible “to apply immediately.”
About 800,000 young people have been allowed to live, work and go to school legally in the U.S. under the DACA program, and to serve in the military.
With Mr. Trump under pressure from Republican officials in several states opposed to DACA, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in September that the administration would wind down the program as of March 5. The administration ended renewals for two-year permits soon after. An estimated 144 people daily lose their deportation relief.
Last Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered the administration to resume accepting renewal applications. On Friday, in another ruling, Alsup said pro-DACA plaintiffs in several lawsuits he is handling can proceed with their legal claims that the administration’s order to end the program stemmed from racist comments Mr. Trump expressed as a presidential candidate.