WASHINGTON ― Immigrant rights advocates are urging undocumented young people to hold off from rushing to reapply for deportation relief ― or celebrating too much ― after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reopen much of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Tuesday.
The preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge William Alsup was a victory for immigration activists and officials who say President Donald Trump acted unlawfully by ending DACA, a program created in 2012 to provide two-year work permits and deportation relief to so-called Dreamers who came to the United States as children. Under Alsup’s order, young undocumented immigrants who held DACA status on Sept. 5, when Trump rescinded the program, should be allowed to apply to renew those protections.
But in some ways, it created more confusion. Adrian Reyna, a Dreamer and activist with United We Dream, said that he received a call after the ruling from his sister, who asked whether everything was “fixed.”
His answer was no.
“The devil is in the details,” Reyna said he told her, recounting the conversation on call with reporters on Wednesday. “Of course not everything is fixed. ”
It’s not even clear when the decision will begin to help Dreamers ― or if it will at all. As of Wednesday evening, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers DACA, couldn’t provide any information as to when and how it would begin to accept renewal applications.
The Department of Justice, which is led by the adamantly anti-DACA Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said after the ruling that it would file an appeal, which could lead to the injunction being overturned.
“This decision may not actually ever get implemented ― we just don’t know yet,” Marielena Hincapie, executive director of National Immigration Law Center said on the same call with reporters.
Hincapie said that although the ruling was a positive sign, advocates are worried that Dreamers will send in applications, including a nearly $500 fee, and be rejected if USCIS has not yet implemented a process to accept renewals. She said Dreamers should also be wary of notarios, individuals who present themselves as immigration lawyers or legal experts to defraud immigrants.
For now, Hincapie said, Dreamers should stay informed but wait on sending anything to the government. She and other advocates have urged Dreamers in the meantime to keep pushing for legislation that would grant…