DHS Will Not Accept Expanded DACA Applications on Feb. 18, 2015 As Planned
On February 16, 2015, a Federal District Court Judge in Texas granted a temporary injunction in the case of Texas v. United States, which effectively put a halt to the federal government’s ability to accept applications for the Expanded DACA Program. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson announced in a press release on February 17 that, although he “strongly disagree[s] with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporary enjoin implementation of [DAPA] and [DACA]…we recognize we must comply with it.” Thus, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not begin accepting applications from individuals who fall under the Expanded DACA guidelines on February 18, as originally planned.
The Department of Justice is expected to appeal the decision to temporarily enjoin the DAPA and Expanded DACA programs, and the White House as well as many legal experts around the country continue to emphasize that President Obama’s Executive Action issued on November 20, 2014 was well within legal authority. President Obama and his administration are confident that they will ultimately prevail and implement the Expanded DACA and DAPA Programs.
No Effect to Current DACA Program
Secretary Johnson stresses that the Texas Court’s order does NOT affect the current DACA Program. Therefore, those individuals who qualify under the existing DACA guidelines established in 2012 can continue to submit their initial or renewal applications to DHS. Also, individuals with existing DACA work authorization are not affected by the February 16 ruling.