On October 5, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals published a decision on the Texas v. United States DACA case. The Court of Appeals agrees with the original judgment on the case that DACA is unlawful but renewals for existing DACA recipients will remain open. This means:
This decision is absolutely devastating – we stand with you, and we will never stop fighting to protect our communities. We urge you to consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to learn more about how this ruling impacts you or any of your family members and loved ones.
Our communities deserve to be safe; we deserve to be free from the extreme stress and fear that comes with the threat of deportation and to continue planning our lives with certainty and stability.
July 16, 2021: Judge Hanen from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that DACA is unlawful. But the court allowed people with DACA to continue to renew. The court blocked USCIS from processing first-time DACA requests.
September 2021: The Biden administration appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
July 6, 2022: Oral argument took place at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for the case.
August 30, 2022: The Biden Administration published their final rule on DACA.
October 5, 2022: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals published a decision on the case, affirming that DACA is illegal.
TEXAS DISTRICT COURT: Judge Hanen who originally ruled DACA to be unlawful will now ask the litigants in his case to brief him on the Biden Administration’s new DACA rule, hold a hearing, and make a ruling. The Biden Administration’s DACA rule goes into effect on October 31, 2022. As of October 5th, 2022 we still need to learn more about what the interplay of the litigation in the Texas District Court and the implementation of the new DACA rule means. We will update Informed Immigrant as soon as this is clear.
First-time applications are currently accepted by USCIS, but they are still prohibited from processing the application under the Texas court order. As of October 5, 2022, we do not know if this will change.
Current DACA recipients
Though the Fifth Circuit agreed with the lower court’s decision that DACA is illegal, renewals are allowed while the case is appealed to the Supreme Court. Although it is still possible for DACA recipients to have their renewal requests processed, this could end at any moment over the next few months.
Advance parole – permission to travel abroad
AP continues open while renewals are still open.
DACA recipients that have a valid reason for traveling abroad can still request advance parole, or permission to travel abroad. A valid reason to travel abroad for a DACA recipient is an employment-based reason, a humanitarian reason, or an educational reason. Vacation is not a valid reason under the DACA rules. Find out more about advance parole on our guide and always consult with an immigration lawyer before traveling outside the United States.
What can we do now?
It’s important that Congress pass permanent solutions for people with or without DACA, TPS holders, farmworkers, essential workers, and our family members.
Below we’ve adapted some USCIS FAQs on DACA:
An initial request for DACA includes:
USCIS is not permitted to approve initial DACA requests while the court order from the Southern District of Texas (July 2021) remains in effect. If you have an initial DACA request pending with USCIS, your request will remain on hold in compliance with the court order.
At this time, USCIS is holding cases, rather than rejecting or closing them. While USCIS holds these cases, they will remain pending. Because these cases will remain on hold while the court order is in effect, USCIS will not issue refunds for initial DACA requests that remain on hold while the court order is in effect.
USCIS may issue further guidance on this subject as the Texas v. United States case continues.
USCIS will accept initial DACA requests, but will not process them. If you file an initial DACA request with USCIS, you will receive a receipt notice, and USCIS will process your payment. However, USCIS will not make a decision on your request while the Texas v. United States court order remains in effect. We don’t know whether first-time applications will be processed in the near future or what USCIS will do with them after a final decision in Texas v. United States.
President Biden and DHS have made it clear that DACA recipients are not a priority for deportation. Even Judge Hanen said in his order that this court decision does “not require DHS or Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual.”
We recommend that you consult an immigration attorney or accredited representative if you believe you fall under an enforcement and removal priority category.
We will continue to fight in Congress for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.
Yes. You can still renew your DACA. If this changes for any reason, USCIS will publish updated information to its site.
USCIS strongly encourages DACA recipients to file their renewal requests 120 to 150 days (four to five months) before the expiration of their current DACA validity period.
However, if you file before then, USCIS will accept your filing for processing, even if it holds it until 150 days prior to the date of expiration of your current DACA validity.
USCIS will not reject a renewal filing before the 150-day mark, but they may wait until closer to the applicant’s expiration date to begin processing the request. There are some individuals who have had their DACA renewals processed before hitting 150 days, but this is not the norm for USCIS.
At this time, the July 2021 court order has not impacted the filing process for DACA renewals, but this could change as Texas v. United States makes its way through the courts.
Yes, if your DACA has expired for less than a year, we encourage you to consider filing the renewal ASAP. If it’s been longer than a year, see the next question.
Yes, USCIS will continue to process DACA renewal requests.
However, if your DACA expires before USCIS approves your renewal request, you do not have DACA or employment authorization for the period between the expiration of your prior DACA and the start of your new period of DACA.
USCIS’ goal is to process DACA renewal requests generally within 120 days. You may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending for more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry online, please visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request.
Please Note: Factors that may affect the timely processing of your DACA renewal request include, but are not limited to:
Yes. USCIS will continue to accept and process applications for advance parole filed by DACA recipients.
Yes, USCIS will continue processing advance parole applications for DACA recipients. Though they have been known to take up to 6 months to process non-emergency cases.
If your application for advance parole has been approved, you can still travel for the requested dates. If the Fifth Circuit were to order USCIS to discontinue DACA renewals, advance parole would also be made unavailable to DACA recipients going forward.
Please note, all individuals returning to the United States are still subject to immigration inspection at a port of entry. We encourage you to consult with an immigration attorney or DOJ-accredited representative before traveling abroad.
Yes, if you currently have DACA and are abroad using advance parole, you may return to the United States. using your advance parole. You may wish to return to the United States promptly.
Please note, all individuals returning to the United States are still subject to immigration inspection at a port of entry.
If you currently have DACA, you may apply for advance parole. If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may request an emergency advance parole appointment at your local field office through the USCIS Contact Center. You should bring the following items to your appointment:
For more information, please see the DACA advance parole page.
Thank you for your feedback. Your submission has been successful.