DACA Updates During the Coronavirus Crisis

We understand that the COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) pandemic is causing more stress on an already difficult immigration filing process for those seeking to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. DACA recipients especially are facing new challenges as they try to renew their DACA protection from deportation and their work authorization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the United States Supreme Court announces a decision on whether the program can continue. Please see below for updates on how COVID-19 may impact DACA renewals and up to date information on any action the Supreme Court may take. As always, we’re committed to supporting you in any way possible. We will work on updating this page as new information surfaces.

Supreme Court COVID-19 Update

Oral Arguments Suspended. On March 16, 2020, the Supreme Court announced that, in keeping with public health precautions, it will be postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled (March 23-25 and March 30-April1) to a later time. The Court intends to still hold regularly scheduled business and is expanding remote working capabilities.

Potential Decision. This change in schedule for oral arguments and expansion of remote working capabilities, at least as of now, does not delay the Supreme Court’s issuance of opinions (decisions). Therefore, the Supreme Court’s decision on the pending DACA case may still be released at any time from now until June 2020.

DACA Renewal Clinics

Our Clinic Tracker. We are working on updating our clinic tracker, which tracks organizations across the U.S. that are hosting DACA renewal assistance events. The clinic tracker will reflect the clinics that are changing and will add any new virtual and in-person clinics, as well as those that get cancelled altogether. We highly recommend also reaching out to the hosting organization for the status of the event.

Virtual Clinics. During the pandemic, many clinics are switching from in-person to virtual appointments.

Keep safe. If your trusted renewal clinic host can only accommodate in-person renewals, urge them to practice the Center for Disease Control’s suggestions for groups of people to be fewer than 10 and with at least six feet of distance between each person. We recommend that if you are attending an in-person clinic, that you take the necessary precautions for your health.

USCIS Offices

As of March 18, USCIS suspended all routine in-person services until at least April 1.

Biometrics appointments at USCIS have been rescheduled until further notice. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule Application Support Center appointments due to the office closure. According to USCIS, if you do not receive a new appointment notice by mail within 90 days, call 800-375-5283.

Application processing. USCIS staff may continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public, such as processing centers. Currently, it is unclear if any cases are still being processed, including DACA renewals. We will work on updating this as soon as new information is released from USCIS. If you are awaiting your DACA renewal and will be experiencing a lapse in work authorization, we encourage you to reach out to a legal service provider. Additionally, as always, with or without DACA you have rights.

If you have not yet renewed, we encourage you to renew your DACA as quickly as possible despite the USCIS offices being closed.

Unemployment Eligibility for DACA recipients

DACA recipients who live within the states of California, Colorado, New York, and Texas are eligible for unemployment benefits. These benefits will not be counted against you based on the new Public Charge regulation.

Social Distancing and Precautionary Steps

If you can, please practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines to take as many precautionary steps to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19.

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Clean and disinfect your home