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The Shut Door on DACA Renewals Has Reopened

On January 9, 2018, a San Francisco-based federal judge in the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction ordering the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") to resume the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, calling its termination a "mistake of law." DACA is an executive policy implemented in 2012 by the Obama administration to postpone deportations of undocumented foreign nationals who entered the U.S. as children by allowing them legally to work. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup's preliminary injunction orders the Trump administration to resume DACA renewals until the final order or decision on the matter is issued, concluding that the recipients of DACA would suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction. Under Judge Alsup's order, former DACA recipients who failed to renew their status by the October 5, 2017 deadline now have a chance to submit renewal applications, and DHS will also be required to allow renewals of applications expiring in the future. DHS is not required, however, to accept new DACA applications, i.e., initia-DACA applications. The Trump administration is expected to seek a stay of Judge Alsup's order from a higher court, but as of now, previous recipients of DACA, whose DACA either has expired or will expire, are encouraged to apply for renewal as soon as possible. The entirety of Judge Alsup's order may be found here.