Court Orders Full Reinstatement of DACA Program

On December 4, 2020, a District Court[1] ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The court order requires DHS to accept first-time requests for DACA and applications for advance parole (travel authorization) based on the terms of the original DACA program, prior to September 5, 2017. The court further ordered that one-year grants of deferred action under DACA and DACA-based Employment Authorization Cards (EADs)[2] must be extended to two years. The order sets aside the July 28, 2020 “Wolf Memorandum,” signed by Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) responded to the December 4, 2020, court order reinstating DACA, publishing a News Alert on December 7, 2020.

  • USCIS confirms the agency will resume acceptance of first-time DACA requests, based on the terms of the original DACA policy that which was in effect prior to September 5, 2017.
  • Based on the original DACA policy, USCIS will return to granting deferred action under DACA for a period of two years, and will issue DACA-based EAD Cards with a two-year validity.
  • USCIS has also updated its website to confirm the agency will again accept applications for advance parole from DACA recipients.
  • USCIS continues to accept DACA renewal requests and will extend EAD Cards previously issued with one-year validity periods to the full two-year validity, per the original DACA policy.

DHS has stated that they “will comply with Judge Garaufis’ order while it remains in effect, but DHS may seek relief from the order.”

Murphy Desmond S.C. encourages any potentially eligible first-time DACA applicants to contact our Immigration Practice Group. Our immigration attorneys can assess your individual case and, if eligible, submit your DACA request to USCIS as soon as possible.  Our team can be reached by calling our bilingual line at (608) 270-5550 or by emailing us at

Published December 10, 2020

[1] Judge Nicholas George Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York [Batalla Vidal, et al. v. Wolf, et al., 16-CV-4756 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y.) and State of New York, et al. v. Trump, et al., 17-CV-5228 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y.)]

[2] Employment Authorization Cards (EADs) are commonly known as “work permits.”