In December 2020, the federal court system ordered the Department of Homeland Security to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The agency has again begun accepting new DACA applications, DACA renewals, and applications for advance parole for DACA recipients who wish to travel outside the U.S. without losing legal status.
Individuals who are eligible for DACA can now continue the application process to avoid deportation. More than 800,000 people have enjoyed the benefits of this program since its introduction by the Obama administration in 2012.
Provisions of DACA
This program provides temporary deportation protection for people whose parents illegally brought them to the United States as children. Those who qualify for the program receive a Social Security number, authorization to work in the U.S. and access to Medicare. Recipients can renew their DACA status every two years.
When DHS defers action on a DACA application, the applicant can now request advance parole if he or she wants to temporarily leave the U.S. Generally, DHS allows advance parole for employment and business-related purposes, research and academic purposes, or humanitarian or family-related reasons.
The reinstatement impact
According to research from the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute, 1.3 million additional U.S. residents have entered DACA eligibility since the Trump administration ended the program in September 2017. Existing DACA recipients who could only renew for one-year protection since 2017 can again register for two-year protection before renewal.
New DACA applicants must pay a $495 application fee. They can choose to submit documentation right away or wait until the Biden administration takes office on January 20, 2021.