Though the deadline to renew Haitian and Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status has passed, it’s still time to RenewNOW! while the window to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is still open.
To get a better sense of why it is absolutely urgent to renew as soon as possible, we will break down the facts behind the court proceedings that are temporarily blocking Trump’s rescission of the lifeline program.
On January 9, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court in California issued a preliminary injunction, which is a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another. This injunction required the federal government to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis with a few exceptions. Since then, another preliminary injunction order was issued by the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
However, a preliminary injunction is immediately appealable, rendering the timeframe for renewing DACA limited and uncertain. Appeals of this nature are usually brought to a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the White House decided in an unusual, but very Trump-like fashion, to skip the appeals process and bring the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court through a rare legal mechanism called “cert. before judgment.”
On February 26, the Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s request and referred the case back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. To strike back, Trump’s administration could have filed a stay, a court order that can suspend the injunctions. Because the administration neglected to do so, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still required to accept renewal applications until the injunction appeal is heard.
The government has filed its opening brief on February 13, and briefing should be complete by April or May, which means this case is moving along, but the Trump administration can still request a stay until the proceedings have begun.
The window for DACA renewals is quickly shrinking, and it is extremely important to submit an application for renewal before the Trump administration requests a stay, which could completely freeze the application renewal process until the appeal process is completed or if either case is then brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is important to note that despite the injunctions, only current or prior DACA recipients will be considered. First-time DACA applications are not being accepted. Anyone seeking to renew their DACA applications should consult legal providers to assist in determining eligibility and filing.