Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Is Still Available

The Supreme Court recently deadlocked over the executive action President Obama took in November 2012 and left in place the ruling of a lower court that blocks the executive actions. The courts ruling blocks only the immigration reform plans that were announced in November 2014 and not the deferred action program that was implemented in 2012.

The court’s 4-4 decision in the United States v. Texas case will not let the Obama administration to implement the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But it will not affect the DACA program that is already in place.

Undocumented youth in the U.S. who meet the guidelines for the 2012 DACA program can continue to apply for a temporary relief from deportation through this program. They can file initial requests for DACA and also apply for renewal. They can continue to file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to request DACA and to get their DACA status renewed. Deferred action under DACA will be valid for a two year period.

If the Supreme Court had not blocked the President’s actions from being implemented, around five million undocumented immigrants would have got a chance to remain legally in the U.S. for a temporary three year period. The five million immigrants would include undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders who meet certain requirements. If DACA had been expanded more undocumented youth would have got a chance to remain in the U.S. and work here. DACA’s validity also would have increased to three years from the current two years.

This decision of the Supreme Court, according to President Obama is a great disappointment for the immigrants who believed they would get a relief from deportation through the President’s actions. President Obama said that he took these actions after waiting for a long time for the U.S. Congress to take action and update the immigration laws. However, this action has been blocked.