The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision against rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program gives recipients a window to submit a renewal application now, according to a local immigration law representative.

Potential first-time applicants should abstain from applying immediately because their information could be exposed if the Trump administration issues another memo rescinding DACA, said Douglas Interiano, a Proyecto Inmigrante board member. Instead, hopeful applicants can gather appropriate documentation to strengthen their application while the country waits for a reaction from the administration.

Interiano spoke virtually during UTA’s Center for Mexican American Studies and Proyecto Inmigrante webinar Monday night, briefing event participants about what DACA recipients can do next. Associate professors Alicia Rueda-Acedo and Christian Zlolniski moderated.

Proyecto Inmigrante is a legal counseling services nonprofit agency that assists the local immigrant community in matters dealing with immigration and education, according to its website. The company has offices in Fort Worth, Dallas and Wichita Falls, Texas.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 against rescinding DACA on June 18. The program, created by the Department of Homeland Security, grants consideration of deferred action against individuals brought to the country when they were children.

Interiano cited the Supreme Court’s ruling and its reason for voting against rescinding the program. The Department of Homeland Security failed to provide a reasoned analysis and violated the Administrative Procedure Act, according to the Supreme Court’s opinion document.

Despite the ruling, Interiano urged first-time applicants to be patient before applying for DACA status. He said the administration could try rescinding the program again and their application could be rejected.

DACA recipients whose statuses expire in the next 120 to 150 days should renew now though, he said.

Interiano advised potential applicants to connect with an attorney or nonprofit organization for assistance when applying. Attorneys should also be contacted if a potential applicant or current recipient up for renewal has a criminal record.

“Don’t file on your own,” Interiano said. “Please don’t try to be smart because there’s been so many changes under the [administration].”

It’s estimated about 643,000 people are currently recipients of the program, according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services document. It costs $495 for a person to apply and renew their DACA status, Interiano said.

Multicultural Affairs director Melanie Johnson notified viewers that students can apply to receive funds from the Emergency Assistance Fund if they are renewing their DACA application.

Interiano urged the forum’s participants to keep pushing for a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients in the meantime by joining advocacy groups that represent and aid immigrant communities.

“We are also advocating for you guys,” he said. “You are not alone”

Students interested in learning about UTA’s resources for DACA recipients can visit www.uta.edu/student-affairs/daca.

@colby_farr

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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