Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The DACA program has constantly changed through past presidential administrations and continues to change due to court litigation. Your Attorney for Students Office has an experienced Immigration Attorney and is here to help Bobcats navigate their initial and renewal DACA applications.
Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of July 16, 2021 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has been ordered by a federal U.S. district court to stop processing initial DACA applications. While USCIS continues to accept initial DACA applications for filing, the order prevents USCIS from processing and ultimately issuing a decision on the application. The agency has publicy stated they plan to appeal the courts decision. The Attorney for Students Office recommends initial DACA applicants consult with our immigration attorneys to discuss the benefits of preparing the application and supporting documentation for initial DACA applications in the event that the courts decision is successfully overturned in the future.
If you need to renew your DACA status, schedule an appointment with the Attorney for Students Office. Renewal applications continue to be accepted, filed and processed for approval and are not affected by the July 16, 2021 federal district court order. We STRONGLY recommend scheduling an appointment at least 6 months or more prior to the expiration of the status to ensure sufficient time to submit your application and receive your new EAD card. There are currently many processing delays and applications not submitted early enough may not be approved in time. If a decision on the renewal application is not received prior to the current EAD expiration date, the applicant no longer has legal employment authorization and the employer can no longer legally allow the individual to work. USCIS recommends renewals be submitted between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date.
As a current student eligible to receive services from AFS, all Bobcats can satisfy the educational requirements of applying for DACA. Your Texas State transcript can also help indicate continuous presence in the United States during the time of your enrollment.
If you have had any contact with the criminal justice system, it may result in immigration consequences. Please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your case at (512) 245-2370. The Attorney for Students can help with criminal matters that may affect your status.
The Attorney for Students Office is comprised of three attorneys with more than 35 years of combined legal experience. Additionally, the Director of the Attorney for Students Office has ten years of immigration experience, so Bobcats can rest assured that their case is in good hands.
Our office--including attorneys and all of our office staff--is bound by the duty of confidentiality and attorney-client privilege. Any communication you make with our office, including phone calls, emails, or in-person and virtual meetings, are protected and privileged. Information about your status or other personal information is safe here.
To make an appointment with an immigration lawyer, give us a call at (512) 245-2370. Be sure to have your student ID # (ex: A01234567) available to schedule an appointment.
Can you file an initial DACA application?
While USCIS is currently unable to process or approve any initial/new applications, you may still prepare and file with USCIS an initial DACA if you:
- Were under 21 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that
- You never had lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
- Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certification of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security.
UPDATE: If you previously renewed your DACA application between July and December of 2020 you may have been notified that your status would only remain current for a period of one year. Pursuant to a District Court order, the USCIS has begun notifying individuals with DACA that their period of deferred action and work authorization has been automatically extended from one year to two years. This information should come to you via USPS Mail. It’s important for all DACA recipients to regularly check their mail and keep their address up to date with USCIS by filing form AR-11.
If you received initial DACA status, you may request a renewal if you meet several requirements including:
- You did not depart from the United States on or after August 15, 2012;
- You have continuously resided in the Untied States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
The AFS Office is here to assist Bobcats with DACA renewal. To get more information about your case, options, and timeline, make an appointment with your Attorney for Students. To make an appointment with an immigration lawyer, give us a call at (512) 245-2370. Be sure to have your student ID # (ex: A01234567) available to schedule an appointment.
If I meet the requirements, can I can apply for DACA Renewal? If so, how do I apply?
Yes. USCIS is accepting the same forms and filing fees for DACA renewal as prior to September 5th, 2017. To renew your DACA, you will need submit the following:
- Form I-821D
- Form I-765
- Form I-765WS
- A front and back copy your current Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Check or money order for $495 made to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"
- 2 passport-style photos
- Any other documents as required by the instructions associated with each form.
When should I renew my DACA considering what is going on in the courts?
You can still submit your request to renew your DACA until the courts decide otherwise, so long as you remain eligible for DACA. There is no way for us to know for sure how much time you have left to file your request to renew your DACA. Because the DACA cases will now go through the normal appeals process instead of being reviewed by the Supreme Court, there may not be another decision affecting DACA Renewals for several months (possibly even a year).
We still recommend that you file your renewal request at least 120 days (about 4 months) before your DACA expires. You do not have to wait until 150 days (5 months) before your DACA expiration date to submit your request to renew DACA. Regardless of when your DACA expires, USCIS will process your renewal request. However, you may not want to file your renewal request now if your DACA will not expire for a very long time. Below are some factors to consider if your DACA expiration date is beyond 150 days. We recommend that you talk this through with a Center attorney:
- If you get your application in before any further movement in courts that terminates the option to renew, there is a higher chance that your renewal request will be processed.
- If USCIS approves your renewal request, you will have your DACA and EAD (work permit) at least beyond 2019 and into 2020 rather than them expiring later this year or in 2019.
- If USCIS rejects your application for being filed too early, then you may lose your $495 filing fee. However, we have not seen this happen since the January 9th injunction, even for DACA renewals where the expiration dates are early 2019.
- If USCIS processes your renewal request normally, then your new EAD will begin its 2-year period from the approval date. This means that your new EAD may not allow you to work with authorization for a full 2 years after your current EAD expires:
EX. Your DACA/EAD expires in January 2019. You decide to submit your renewal request this month (March 2018). Your case is very simple and it only takes USCIS a month to approve your request. Your new DACA/EAD will be valid from April 2018 to April 2020, not January 2019 to January 2021.
Can I apply for DACA if I have never applied before?
Effective December 07, 2020 in compliance with an order of a U.S. District Court, USCIS has stated that it will accept initial DACA applications from potential first-time applicants.
HOWEVER, while USCIS continues to accept initial DACA applications for filing, a July 16, 2021 federal district court order prevents USCIS from processing and ultimately issuing a decision on the application.
See https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees. Note that the total DACA filing fees are $495: $410 for Form I-765 and $85 for the Biometric Services fee.
See Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Can I apply for DACA if it has been more than one year since my last DACA expired?
Yes. If you have received DACA before but it expired before September 5, 2016 and you did not renew, then you may renew your expired DACA by filing an initial DACA application with supporting documents that establish you are eligible for DACA. Please consult with AFS for assistance with your DACA application.
If your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016 but you did not renew, then you may renew your expired DACA by filing a renewal DACA application (please see Question 2).
Have the DACA eligibility requirements changed in any way?
No. Based on the Court’s Order, the eligibility requirements for DACA have not changed. However, that does not mean that it is safe for everyone to apply for or renew their DACA. The circumstances listed in the bullet points below could trigger enforcement action - it is very important to consult with AFS if any of the following applies to you:
- You have had any contact with police or the courts, including arrests, convictions, or any other criminal issues;
- You have had any contact with immigration authorities, including detention, deportation, or removal from the United States; or
- You have moved and changed your address since your last DACA application.
Can I apply for Advance Parole?
YES. In its newly posted guidance, USCIS is accepting applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to Sept. 5, 2017, and in accordance with the U.S. District Court’s Dec. 4, 2020, order
I am a current DACA recipient, what will happen to the information I provided on my DACA application(s)?
Even though the original DACA program promised that information would not be shared with ICE, we do not know if the new administration will maintain that promise.
CONTACT WITH IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT
What is important to know when considering travel within the U.S.
While flying, you could be asked by airport security to provide proof of your immigration status. Airports are “ports of entry” into the U.S. – there are Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at airports, and constitutional protections are limited at ports of entry. U.S. domestic flight security is governed by the Transportation Safety Administration (“TSA”), which is part of the Department of Homeland
4 See https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-response-january-2018-preliminary- injunction.
Security. If you are traveling by air or land within 100 miles of any U.S. border, CBP officers have certain additional powers and can operate immigration checkpoints. Please see the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) fact sheet on risks present within the “100-mile border zone.”
If you currently have DACA and it has not expired, you should be able to travel within the U.S. via plane or other forms of transportation using a current, valid Texas state ID card, driver's license or your EAD card. You may be asked questions about your immigration status if you use a document that shows your country of citizenship (such as a non-U.S. passport or EAD card).
What can I do if I come in contact with ICE?
The U.S. Constitution guarantees rights to all people in the U.S., regardless of citizenship status, which includes the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. In practical terms, that means that during a police or immigration officer encounter:
- You have the right to remain silent;
- You should stay calm and be polite;
- You should not lie about your citizenship status or provide false documents;
- You do not have to sign anything (if you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to stay in the U.S.);
- If immigration comes to your home, you do not have to open your door unless an officer has certain kinds of warrants - you should ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to a window so you can inspect it;
- If you are taken into immigration custody, you have the right to a lawyer (however, please note that the government does not have to provide one for you); and
- Additionally, if you are in immigration custody, you have the right to contact your consulate.
You can carry the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s “red card” with you to read your rights in case of contact with ICE. To read more about your rights, please see the National Immigration Law Center's resources.
What can I do to keep my family safe?
You can help them develop a safety plan, as well as inform them of their rights. Please see the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s family preparedness plan.
5 Available at https://www.aclu.org/other/constitution-100-mile-border-zone?redirect=constitution-100-mile-border- zone.
6 See https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/ab_60_4_27_15.pdf.
7 Available at https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards (available in English and Spanish).
8 Available at https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/. For multi- lingual Know Your Rights materials please see: http://www.immdefense.org/ice-home-and-community-arrests/.
9 Available at https://www.ilrc.org/family-preparedness-plan.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
The ILRC created an informational packet to help DACA recipients keep their status up to date through DACA renewal. For more information about the renewal process, view the packet.
TXST Monarch Center for Immigrant Student
Undocumented and DACAmented students are valued members of the Texas State University community. The Monarch Center is a virtual hub, streamlining communications and access to immigration resources, programs, and research. The centers website has additional student resources.