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Helping You Make Your American Dream Come True

Helping You Make Your American Dream Come True

Is DACA dead or alive?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was initiated in 2012, but it was deemed illegal back in 2021 following a federal judge’s ruling deeming it illegal, which was expanded in 2023. This ruling halted the acceptance of new DACA applications. This affected approximately half a million individuals nationwide, including many in New Jersey.

What is DACA?

While DACA does not confer legal status or a pathway to citizenship. It grants crucial benefits such as deportation deferrals that enable recipients to obtain driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers and work permits.

The ruling

However, the legal developments have left many applicants in limbo, prompting concerns among immigration advocates. The widespread impact of the ruling means that those that could qualify for DACA or but have not yet received approval, now hang in suspension, with no clear path forward.

Existing DACA recipients

Fortunately, existing DACA recipients remain unaffected by the ruling and can continue to renew their status without interruption. The legal battle casts doubt on DACA’s long-term viability, but the ultimate fate of the program lies in the hands of Congress, which has the authority to enshrine DACA into federal law. However, the prospect of legislative action remains uncertain, leaving the future of thousands of DREAMers in New Jersey and throughout the country hanging in the balance.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

USCIS continues to honor current DACA recipient status, which is allowed under the current court order. It will also continue to accept and process DACA renewals, which it has done since the original order. USCIS will also accept initial DACA requests, but it will not process those new requests until allowed to by the courts or by Congress.


The legal and congressional battle over DACA continues. But, the New Jersey community remains steadfast in its support for immigrant rights and the pursuit of a solution that ensures the protection and dignity of all DACA recipients.