On July 16, 2021, a federal judge in Texas declared that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was unlawfully created and ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately stop processing all DACA applications, with an important exception. Here’s a breakdown of what the court order means:
  • For all DACA applicants–both new and renewing: all DACA eligible individuals can continue to file DACA applications with DHS. The DHS must continue to accept applications from all DACA applicants, both new and renewing applicants.
  • For renewing DACA applicants, the DHS may temporarily continue to process those applications (and approve them) until the judge or an appeals court issues another order.  This exception only applies to DACA recipients whose DACA status was approved on or before July 16, 2021. The judge’s order does not cancel any DACA status or require the DHS to cancel DACA status.
  • For new DACA applicants (anyone without approved DACA status on or before July 16, 2021), while the DACA application may be filed with DHS, it will not be processed (or approved) until the federal court case is resolved.
  • The federal court judge ordered the DHS to reconsider the DACA program.
  • All DACA recipients and applicants should stay tuned for more information and analysis, including the impact on advance parole and other impacts.
  • The federal court case is called Texas v. United States, 1:18-cv-0068 (S.D. Texas).

What can be done about it?

What’s clear is that we need Congress to pass a path to permanent protection for all immigrant youth, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers NOW. This ruling by Judge Hanen is cruel, and it shows that temporary protections are not enough to protect Dreamers, their families, or our other immigrant community members from detention and deportation.

Contact your members of Congress and call on them to pass permanent protections for all immigrants now!

You can also sign United We Dream’s petition in response to Judge Hanen’s order here.