DACA Decision at the Supreme Court 2020

What’s happening with DACA right now?  New!

Texas Court Ruling Update

On July 16, 2021, Texas federal court Judge Hanen published his opinion on the DACA case, ruling that DACA applications would be frozen, while allowing for existing renewals to continue.


Timeline of the Supreme Court Decision

  • On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ordered the Administration to start accepting new DACA applications and requests for Advance Parole. Though the Supreme Court ordered this, USCIS did not begin to accept new initial applications.
  • On July 17, 2020, the District Court in Maryland ordered the Administration to fully reopen the program, reiterating what the Supreme Court ordered a month prior.
  • On July 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo stating changes to the DACA program.

DACA recipients win at the Supreme Court! On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of DACA recipients. The Supreme Court agrees with the lower courts’ ruling that the Administration unlawfully ended the program. The Court’s decision restores the 2012 Obama Administration DACA policy in full. The court’s decision ordered the Administration to reopen DACA for new applicants, reopen Advance Parole, and allow current DACA recipients to continue to renew their status. The Administration on July 28th issued a new memo stating that they will reject first-time applications and Advance Parole requests.

On July 17, 2020, the United States Fourth District Court in Maryland ordered the Trump administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to fully restore the DACA program to how it was before its termination; this mandates that the government immediately begin accepting new DACA requests and advance parole applications (travel authorization).

The Maryland court’s order reiterates the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision from June 18, 2020. The order requires the administration to restore the DACA program back to its 2012 form. Any further delay from President Trump and USCIS in restoring the full 2012 DACA program may expose them to contempt of court charges.

July 28th DHS Memo

Despite the Supreme Court and the District Court in Maryland’s decisions, DHS released a memo which stated they will reject new first-time DACA applications, reject Advance Parole requests unless under exceptional circumstances, and will continue to process renewal requests, but instead of issuing them for two years, the new work permits will be issued for one year.

What does this mean for me?

First Time Applications

In the July 28th DHS memo, the agency announced that they will not accept first-time DACA applications. If you’ve already filed as a new applicant, you should expect USCIS to return your application and associated fee.

Advance Parole

DHS will not accept Advance Parole requests, unless under exceptional circumstances. Though it’s not yet clear what those circumstances are it should be assumed that this would be incredibly rare. If you’ve already requested Advance Parole, you should expect USCIS to return your application and associated fee.


Although the new memo sadly does not allow for new applicants to apply, renewals continue to stay open for current DACA recipients. The memo, however, also announced a change to the amount of time your DACA protections and accompanying work permit stay valid. Instead of 2 years, DACA recipients will be given 1 year of protections.

If your renewal has already been processed and issued, you will still have your original two years of protections. The new one-year reduction only applies to renewal applications submitted from here on out. If your DACA expires in 2020, we encourage you to consult with an immigration practitioner and renew as soon as possible. Visit our renewals page to find out how to renew.

Filing Fees

Previously it was announced that the USCIS application fees would be increased. As of now, the DACA renewal fee remains $495. We will update this page if this changes.

We will keep you updated!

We will continue to update this page as more clarity on how this development will be implemented as we receive news. We know this is hard news for so many that were looking forward to applying for the first time. And discouraging news for current DACA recipients who will renew their protections in the future only to have them shortened by a year.

Rest assured, our community, friends, and allies will continue to fight for DACA. Remember that you are strong and resilient with or without DACA and you are not alone!

Visit UWD’s DACA Decision site to learn more about ways to stay involved.

Looking Ahead

Take care of yourself

This has been an incredibly stressful time for many, we encourage you to explore the following resources to take care of your mental health and overall well being. Continue to care for yourself. The information below provides tips for managing the emotional and spiritual well-being of yourself and others.

Build a support network. Surround yourself with people you trust. Don’t be afraid to lean on the trusted people in your life — friends, family members, teachers, coworkers. Reach out to your local organization that works with the immigrant community — they may hold events or point you in the right direction.

Do an activity you enjoy. There has been a lot of build up, including fears and anxieties, that brought us to this moment. Take some time to relax. “Self-care” can be as small as doing a hobby that brings us happiness, and makes us feel good about ourselves. If you need ideas, try reaching out to a friend, journaling, or trying an activity you loved when you were younger. You deserve access to love and joy.

Take a few deep breaths. Breathing slowly and deeply sends a message to our brain to calm down and ease tension in our body. Try the 4-7-8 breathing method. Breathe in slowly while counting to 4. Hold your breath and count to 7 in your head. Breathe all the air out of your lungs for a count of 8. Repeat 7-10 times.

We encourage you to check out German Cadenas’ Guide on Coping with Immigration Related Stress. He includes reflective exercises and other tools you can use to manage your wellbeing.


Stay Informed and Know Your Rights

No matter what is happening with DACA, you have rights and knowing them will help keep you and your families empowered during this time.

In any interaction with law or immigration enforcement, the most important practices to remember are:

  • Remain calm
  • Do not open the door if an immigration agent is knocking on the door.
  • Do not answer any questions from an immigration agent if they try to talk to you. You have the right to remain silent.
  • Do not sign anything without first speaking to a lawyer. You have the right to speak with a lawyer.
  • If you are outside of your home, ask the agent if you are free to leave and if they say yes, leave calmly and do not run away.
  • If you do speak, do not lie.

You have constitutional rights whether you are at home or in public spaces. However, those rights are different depending on where you are. Your home provides special protections that public spaces do not. (To learn what the differences are please visit our Know Your Rights section.) Understanding what those are (and aren’t) can help you navigate stressful encounters with immigration enforcement on your doorstep, and potentially avoid harm.


Protesting as Undoculeaders

Many DACA community members are also personally affected by the recent uprisings in defense of Black lives and many (Black or non-black) have joined solidarity events across the country. We’re also aware of the possibility of protests or actions emerging in response to the DHS memo on DACA. We hope you take proper precautions and take in all considerations. Refer the following resources for guidance on protesting while undocumented.


Family Preparedness

Every family regardless of immigration status should make a family preparedness plan in case of emergency. Family preparedness plans are a collection of documents and important information about family members’ medical history, childcare preferences, Social Security numbers, financial matters, and more. A preparedness plan also outlines immediate and longer-term actions to be taken if a member of the family is detained or otherwise at risk. Compiling this plan ahead of time will reduce stress and result in better outcomes for your family.

Find more resources and materials on how to prepare your family here.

You can also watch this video that combines both Know your rights and family preparedness information.

Income Generation Beyond DACA

Our friends at Immigrants Rising have been working on a learning hub for alternative income generating pathways, regardless of your immigration status. The undocustle.org learning hub will help you explore different opportunities such as becoming an independent contractor or starting your own business. Start your #undocuhustle.

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