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Federal judge rules DACA protections must stay in place

Since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on September 5, 2017 that the Trump administration would be terminating the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program starting March 2018, dreamers have lived with uncertainty on whether or not Congress would act to keep protections in place.

Some of that uncertainty has been taken away, thanks to a recent ruling by a federal judge in California. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled on January 9 that safeguards against deportation must remain in place for those protected under the DACA program while a legal challenge to ending the program proceeds.

This means that while the lawsuit is pending, anyone who had DACA status as of Sept. 5 can renew it. When dreamers will be able to resume applying for renewals of their work permits is unclear and depends on the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the program.

This decision puts pressure on bipartisan members of Congress and the White House, who are in the midst of negotiations about how to address the needs of dreamers. Several Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), have said that a DACA solution must be part of any federal budget deal or they will not support it. The next funding deadline is on January 19.

Those who were protected under DACA as of September 5, 2017 can contact an immigration attorney who understands your needs and stays up to date on when renewals will be available.

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