New DACA Filings Blocked by Judge & Where Does Congress Stand on Immigration Reform?

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new court ruling blocking the issuance of initial DACA applications and what this ruling could mean for the future of comprehensive immigration reform. What can we expect to see from Congress regarding the legalization of undocumented young Americans moving forward?

Stay tuned to find out more.


On Friday, July 16, 2021, a federal judge from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, granted a permanent injunction against the DACA program, which essentially halts the processing of new first-time applications under the program. The permanent injunction however does not prevent the filing of DACA renewals by those who are already receiving benefits under the DACA program. It also does not have any negative impact on DACA benefits already issued under the program such as deferred status, employment authorization, and advance parole.

Why is this ruling significant?

The judge’s recent decision is significant because it may lead to the beginning of a long battle toward achieving comprehensive immigration reform.

As you may recall, the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program came about by Executive Order during the Obama administration in 2012. Since then, the DACA program has allowed nearly a million young immigrants to remain in the United States, to live, study, and work as productive members of our society. It has been 9 years since the start of this program, and Congress still has not acted to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

The uncertainty surrounding the program and its constant upheaval in courts across the country has led many young immigrants to question whether they can continue to call America, home.

While the Department of Justice has made clear that it will appeal the judge’s recent decision to fully preserve the DACA program, only Congress can ensure a permanent solution by passing comprehensive immigration reform solutions that will create a stable environment for Dreamers to thrive.

On the heels of this ruling, the Biden administration is calling upon Congress to urgently renew its discussions to pass the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R.6). This bill was introduced on March 3, 2021, and would create a “conditional permanent resident” status valid for up to 10 years that would protect Dreamers, including DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, individuals with Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), as well as eligible farmworkers, from deportation, allow them to work legally in the U.S. and permit them to travel outside the country.

Dreamers who obtain “conditional permanent resident” status could apply to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs or green-card holders) after meeting certain conditions.

Interestingly, Biden’s push for comprehensive immigration reform comes amid Congressional budget negotiations known as “Budget Reconciliation,” which include language setting aside monetary resources for immigration reform. This revelation sets the stage for Congress to seriously consider comprehensive immigration reform for the first time since the 1980’s.  Given the large size of the budget deal in the “Budget Reconciliation,” any immigration provisions in the package are less likely to be cut off.

From leaks provided by insiders, the immigration provisions in the budget deal will be an expanded version of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (H.R.6).


If Congress renews its talks to pass the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, a greater pool of immigrants will have the potential to legalize their status including TPS holders, DED holders, and farmworkers. These individuals will no longer have to live in the shadows so long as they meet the required criteria, including continuous physical presence in the United States on or before January 1, 2021. It is therefore imperative for Congress to renew its talks to pass this piece of legislation because it has the great potential to legalize the lives of so many, including business owners, and critical workers who together substantially contribute to the U.S. economy.

We will continue to watch the status of the bill closely and will report any new developments right here on our blog.

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