DHS Announces Sweeping DACA Changes
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it is taking action to significantly limit the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The announcement follows a recent Supreme Court ruling that halted the Trump administration’s years-long attempt to end the DACA program, based on a failure to comply with procedural requirements. A federal court then ordered that, in light of the Supreme Court decision, DHS must begin processing new applications for DACA status, which it had not done in nearly three years.
Instead of complying with this court order, DHS personnel have now been ordered by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to “reject all pending and future initial requests for DACA, to reject all pending and future applications for advance parole absent exceptional circumstances, and to shorten DACA renewals.”
The shortened renewals will require existing DACA recipients to apply for renewal of their deferred action status every year; previously, renewals were required every two years. All changes outlined in the memo will take effect immediately.
The changes were prompted by a letter to Wolf from Attorney General William Barr, in which he stated he wished “to wipe the slate clean to make clear beyond doubt that [Secretary Wolf] [is] free to exercise [his] own independent judgment in considering the full range of legal and policy issues implicated by a potential rescission or modification of DACA, as contemplated by the Supreme Court.”
In his memo to DHS personnel, Wolf indicated that he will “take action to thoughtfully consider the future of the DACA policy, including whether to fully rescind the program.”