Caribbean nationals can again apply for DACA

Judge Alsup

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration says it will resume accepting renewal requests for a program that shields from deportation young Caribbean and other immigrants who were brought illegally to the US as children.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Saturday said that “until further notice,” the Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), “will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded” in September, when President Trump moved to end it.

“Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA,” the statement said. “Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on September 5, 2017.

“Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion,” it added. “Further, deferred action under DACA does not confer legal status upon an individual and may be terminated at any time, with or without a Notice of Intent to Terminate, at DHS’s discretion.”

On Tuesday, Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco ruled that the Trump administration must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis” as the legal challenge to the president’s decision goes forward.

Judge Alsup said previous beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, must be allowed to renew their status in the program, although the government would not be required to accept new applications from immigrants who had not previously submitted one.

President Barack Obama created the DACA program in 2012 to give young Caribbean and other immigrants the ability to work legally in the United States.

In attempting to end it in September, Trump argued that Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power.

But critics of Trump’s decision to end the policy later sued the administration, saying that shutting down the program was arbitrary and done without following the proper legal procedures.

Trump had met with lawmakers last week, in an hour-long televised meeting, to begin negotiations before Judge Alsup handed down his ruling.