Seyfarth Synopsis: On January 13, 2018, per a federal district court order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals and requests from certain individuals. On January 16, 2018, the United States government stated its intent to appeal the district court's injunction to both the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Quick Facts: Following the federal district court order, USCIS posted an update to its website, outlining the process for DACA requests and renewals. USCIS will:
- Consider renewals from beneficiaries previously granted deferred action and whose DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016; and,
- Consider requests from beneficiaries previously granted deferred action whose DACA status expired before Sept. 5, 2016 or whose DACA status was previously terminated at any time.
USCIS will not consider DACA requests from individuals who have never been DACA beneficiaries nor will the Services accept or approve requests for advance parole from DACA beneficiaries. Further information may be found on USCIS' website.
On January 16, 2018, the Department of Justice stated its intent to appeal the district court's order to both the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Interestingly, the Justice Department did not seek a stay of the order, which would have provided the opportunity for immediate relief from the court's injunction. Practically speaking, this allows USCIS to continue processing DACA requests and renewals. Politically speaking, it provides more time for Congress to make a deal that provides long-term relief for the "Dreamers."
What Should Employers Consider?: As previously written in the BIG blog, the termination of DACA could result in the forced removal of hundreds of thousands of employees from the legal workforce over the next two and a half years. While the opportunity exists–and with a Congressional deal far from certain–employers may wish to encourage employees who are DACA beneficiaries to renew now, if applicable. While the case and legislative battles continue, employers may also want to ascertain the amount of DACA recipients in their employ in order to plan workforce staffing appropriately. The loss of the "Dreamers" may hit home hard. Seyfarth will continue to provide updates as legislative efforts progress and major developments in the case occur.
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