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Can you still apply for DACA in Texas?

San Antonio, TX – According to the latest numbers made available by the US Customs and Immigration Services, in June 2022, there were 97,760 active DACA recipients living in Texas. Another 200,000 people met the eligibility criteria. However, due to the ongoing legal dispute over DACA, the fate of all those dreamers residing in the Lone Star State remains unclear. Many of them are wondering if they can apply for DACA in Texas at this time. The answer is Yes, you can apply, but it won’t help you much. At present, the USCIS is receiving applications, but cannot legally process them.

If you were brought to the US as a child, you should take the opportunity to apply for DACA. Even if your application won’t be processed for the time being, you may have a chance to obtain the legal protection offered by DACA once the legal deadlock gets resolved. Also, if you listen to our lawmakers in Washington, there’s still hope DACA will become a path to citizenship. 

At the very least, talk to an experienced DACA attorney in San Antonio to see if you meet the requirements and fill in the application.

What’s the latest on DACA?

Launched in 2012, DACA was intended to provide temporary reprieve to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children. Many of them are now adults and obtaining DACA status means that they are considered lawfully present in the country, so they cannot be placed in removal proceedings.

Various states have challenged DACA rules over the past few years, ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. The case has been dragging on through the US court system ever since. 

Last October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a July 2021 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas declaring DACA unlawful. Yet, the court preserved the partial stay issued by the Texas district court and remanded the case back to the lower court. For the time being, the Department of Homeland Security’s so-called final rule is in effect.

This means, no new applications can be processed, but existing DACA recipients keep their protected status.

Can I renew my work authorization?

Under the final rule, active DACA recipients can renew their work authorization and apply for advance parole, which would allow them to travel abroad for a limited number of reasons. Work authorizations issued under DACA must be renewed every 2 years. 

Is DACA a pathway to citizenship?

For the time being, DACA does not open a pathway to US citizenship. However, Democrats are trying to push through legislation that would allow dreamers to become legal permanent residents. Democrats are pushing to pass new legislation before the new Congress begins. According to CNN, they still need to get some Republicans on board. 

DACA recipients could also get legal permanent resident status by marrying a US citizen. Recent estimates put the number of people sharing a home with a DACA recipient at 1.5 million.

If you’re considering this option, you should reach out to seasoned Texas immigration lawyers right away.

Adjustment of status through family-based immigration can be used even if an immigrant is placed in removal proceedings. Keep in mind that you may have only weeks to put your papers in order so you or your loved ones should contact knowledgeable immigration lawyers immediately.

If you have any questions concerning DACA, get in touch with an experienced lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them help you keep the American Dream alive. 

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

206 East Locust Street

San Antonio, TX 78212

Phone: (210) 769-3273

Sources: 

USCIS – DHS Begins Limited Implementation of DACA under Final Rule

CNN – Senate Democrats restart talks to try to help DACA recipients during lame-duck session

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