DACA Update Announcements

Monday, Feb 26, 2018

A federal judge in the DACA case brought by Princeton University, a Princeton student, and Microsoft ruled in our favor this week. 

The ruling:
“While the litigation is not over, the court’s ruling is an excellent outcome.  The court ruled that the federal government’s decision to rescind the DACA program was unlawful, and requires the government to accept new DACA applications, issue renewals, and accept applications for advance parole (necessary for travel abroad).  The judge stayed the decision for 90 days to allow the government time to attempt to better explain its decision (an option that has always been available to the government under the applicable legal standard) or appeal.  Although my personal preference would have been for the court’s decision to go into effect immediately, this is clearly a step in the right direction — it is the most expansive ruling and broadest remedy provided so far in any of the pending litigation, and reflects an unequivocal rejection of the rationale the government has articulated for ending the program.”  - Ramona E. Romero, General Counsel, Princeton University

What does this mean?
The Court’s decision has no immediate impact on the status quo of DACA, and the government will continue to accept DACA renewal applications at this time.   However, until further developments, they are not required to accept new initial DACA applications or advance parole applications (for travel outside and return to the U.S.) sooner than 90 days from the ruling.

What should you do now?
The Davis International Center will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed.  Individuals with expiration dates occurring within the next 16 months are encouraged to consider an outside legal consultation to begin the renewal process. 

DACA individuals who are interested in a referral should make an appointment with Jackie Leighton as soon as possible.   Email jleighto@princeton.edu or phone 609-258-5102.

If you want to find out more about the case, there are articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, and the Princeton University homepage.


The Supreme Court has declined the Trump Administration’s request to review a federal district court order that temporarily enjoined the Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

In January, a Federal District Judge of the Northern District of California issued a nationwide temporary injunction that largely blocked the Trump Administration from rescinding the DACA program.  Subsequently, the Trump Administration took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to immediately review the California injunction, rather than await a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case is Regents of the University of California v. DHS.
What the Supreme Court decision means:
Today’s decision means that the Supreme Court will not conduct an immediate review as requested by the Trump administration and that the DACA program will not be terminated on the Administration’s target date of March 5, 2018.  DHS will continue to accept DACA renewal applications in accordance with the California district court’s order until further notice, but is not required to accept applications from foreign nationals who have not previously received DACA benefits.  But if you previously had DACA status and it has expired, you may be eligible to reapply.Source:   Fragomen Worldwide Alert - Supreme Court Declines Trump Administration’s DACA Review Request
What should you do now?
We are recommending that individuals strongly consider filing for a DACA renewal now even if their status ends later this year or even next year in 2019! Please contact Jackie Leighton at jleighto@princeton.edu for an attorney referral for an individual assessment of your situation and to get your DACA renewal filed.


Jan. 10, 2018:  USCIS Offers DACA Instruction following Federal Court Injunction 

A federal district court has ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resume accepting renewal applications from DACA beneficiaries while current DACA litigation goes forward.

1.     Instructions from USCIS, Jan. 13, 2018: As a result of the court order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated, “Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in their guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.” USCIS released instructions stating they will accept DACA renewal applications from individuals who were previously granted DACA.   They will not accept DACA applications from new individuals nor will they accept applications for advance parole travel requests. 

2.     Legal Consultations Recommended: We would like to arrange consultations with an immigration attorney to begin working on your possible renewals.  If you already have your own legal counsel, you may work with them if you prefer.
Contact Jackie Leighton to arrange a DACA renewal legal consultation as soon as possible. We do not know how long this window of opportunity will last and we strongly recommend that you arrange a legal consultation immediately. The Trump Administration is expected to appeal this ruling and could request a stay of the order while the appeal is ongoing. If such a stay is granted, USCIS could stop accepting renewal applications.
Email jleighto@princeton.edu  or call 609-258-5102 or schedule an online appointment via the WASS calendar. Location: Davis International Center, Simpson International Building A45 

3.     Princeton University Support for DACA Students: Princeton University has posted a statement of support for DACA individuals on our campus as well as updated FAQ's for DACA/undocumented individuals about matters related to privacy, sanctuary campus, financial aid, DACA campus resources, and more.
In addition, President Eisgruber has sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to act quickly to protect DACA students.  Now we continue our advocacy to support legislation that will provide permanent protection to DACA’ans.
On Jan. 11, President Eisgruber and the President of Microsoft urged quick congressional action to protect Dreamers. 

4.     We understand this is a stressful time. If you feel like talking confidentially to a counselor, you are encouraged to reach out to CPS.  A counselor is on call and can be reached by calling:  609-258-3285 (during business hours 9:00-4:45 PM, Monday-Friday) 609-258-3139 (after hours and on weekends)  Location:  McCosh Health Center (next to Frist Campus Center)
Counseling and Psychological Services Website

More Information:
USCIS Guidance to DACA Individuals following Federal Court Injunction
Fragomen Law Firm DACA Alert

Background Information:
On Sept. 5, 2017, the Trump Administration officially rescinded the DACA program by providing a 6-month “winding-down” period.  Several lawsuits against the rescission were filed in federal courts including one filed by Princeton University, Microsoft, and a Princeton DACA student.

More information for Princeton DACA students...