DACA: What You Need to Know
Current Legal Status:
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) remains in effect
DACA was originally established in 2012 under the Obama administration to protect from deportation young adults who were brought to the United States as children. Under the program, eligible DACA recipients could remain in the US without fear of deportation, could further their education, and could apply for work permits.
After the switch to the Trump administration in 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo rescinding, or terminating, the DACA program. In response, there were several lawsuits challenging the government’s decision to rescind DACA. These lawsuits resulted in a federal court issuing a temporary injunction, which required the federal government to maintain the DACA program while the case made its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
DACA Program Updates
On July 16, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that the DACA policy “is illegal.” The Court granted summary judgment on plaintiffs’ Administrative Procedure Act (APA) claims; vacated the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum issued by former Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano; remanded the memorandum to DHS for further consideration; and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the government’s continued administration of DACA and the reimplementation of DACA without compliance with the APA. The Court, however, temporarily stayed its order vacating the DACA memorandum and its injunction with regard to individuals who obtained DACA on or before July 16, 2021, including those with renewal requests.
DHS will accept the filing of renewal DACA requests and renewals that are within 1 year of expiration, pursuant to the July 16, 2021 order from the Southern District of Texas.
For more information by viewing the Order of Permanent Injuction file.
What This Means for DACA Recipients
Current DACA recipients continue to be protected from deportation and are eligible for other DACA benefits, such as work authorization. We anticipate that DHS will provide further specific guidance and instructions on new applications and renewals for DACA. We will keep this page updated as we receive information about how DHS will be processing applications and renewals.
Outside Resources That May Be Helpful
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) information on service availability during COVID-19
- USCIS form (Form I-821D) to apply for or renew DACA status
- USCIS filing tips on completing the form to apply for or renew DACA status
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) DACA Information and resources
- ILRC Annotated DACA Application Guide
Individuals who believe that they are eligible to submit a new application or to renew their existing DACA status should seek advice from an immigration lawyer or legal clinic.
The UH Law Center Immigration Clinic is available to University of Houston System students from all of our campuses who need a free intake consultation. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the clinic's main number at (713) 743-2094. Be sure to indicate you are a student with the UH System and ask for an intake consultation.
The University of Houston is proud of its diverse and inclusive community, including DACA students. The University of Houston will continue to support the efforts of all its students to further their academic studies and will continue to follow state and federal laws as it works to provide educational opportunities for its students. In compliance with those laws, UH does not ask about the immigration status of any student or applicant. Immigration status is not determinative of eligibility for admission or many forms of financial aid, nor of the desire to improve oneself through education.