Over the summer, the government severely limited the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The government stopped accepting initial requests and shortened the validity of work permits to one year. As we have seen before, the government did not have the proper legal authority to take these actions. Thus, the courts have stepped in to set aside this improper policy.
On December 4, 2020 a federal court ordered the Department of Homeland Security to fully reinstate the DACA program. The order is effective immediately. Accordingly, the government has announced that they are once again accepting initial requests, work permits are valid for two years, and DACA recipients are eligible to apply for an Advance Parole travel document. Significantly, an Advance Parole document might help to forgive certain prior immigration violations. Thus, it helps immigrants who otherwise have a basis for green card eligibility.
This court decision is a huge win for the thousands of DACA recipients. The rights of the so-called dreams are constantly in limbo. Though they can breathe a sigh of relief for now, we hope that in the future the government will go even further to protect dreamers. A more permanent legal path for dreamers is just one positive change we hope to see!