By Julia Brown
Federal court blocks new DACA applicants
In July, a Texas federal judge ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unlawful and blocked the government from granting initial applications to the program
What to know about the effect of the court decision:
• If someone already has DACA, nothing has changed, and they can still renew their status.
• If a renewal DACA application is still being processed, it will continue normally.
• If someone was eligible for a first-time application for DACA, the government is still accepting initial applications, but cannot act on them for the time being.
• If someone has already sent in a first-time DACA application and it has not been granted yet, the court decision means that the government cannot approve it right now.
The Biden administration is appealing the decision and is also exploring a different way of preserving DACA through rulemaking.
If someone was eligible for a first-time application for DACA but has not yet applied, they can call ILAP at (207) 780-1593 or fill out our intake request form at ilapmaine.org/get-legal-help.
Call to action: call Maine’s congressional delegation and demand pathway to citizenship
The recent DACA decision reinforces the need for a pathway to citizenship for our community members without permanent status. Back in March and with bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for those eligible for DACA and Temporary Protected Status. The Senate has not acted on this bill, but does have a pathway to citizenship in a proposed reconciliation package.
ILAP suggests Mainers call their representatives and senators and urge them to support a pathway to citizenship for people who are undocumented, including Dreamers, TPS holders, essential workers, and farm workers living in the U.S., without criminal bars.
Sen. Susan Collins: (202) 224-2523
Sen. Angus King: (202) 224-5344
Rep. Chellie Pingree: (202) 225-6116
Rep. Jared Golden: (202) 225-6306
Somalia Temporary Protected Status (TPS) extended and redesignated
Great news! The government has extended and redesignated Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
The extension of TPS for Somalia allows current TPS holders to retain TPS through March 17, 2023, as long as they meet TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of TPS for Somalia allows Somali nationals who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 19, 2021, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligible.
ILAP’s Facebook page includes an advisory where we will post more information about how to apply when it is available.
Updated asylum manual now available
ILAP is excited to share the 2021 version of our Self-Help Asylum Manual, updated to better meet the needs of asylum seekers in Maine. The Asylum Manual is free to access online and includes step-by-step instructions to help asylum seekers through the entire process of applying for asylum. The updated 2021 version has specific information for asylum applicants in Maine who are filing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Boston District Office or the Boston Immigration Court.
The 2021 updated Asylum Manual and other important resources are on our website: ilapmaine.org/asylum-self-help#Manual
Please note: The 2021 version is currently only available in English. We are working hard on translations and will post additional languages as soon as they become available. Thank you for your patience!
Julia Brown is ILAP’s Advocacy and Outreach Director. She works to improve laws and policies impacting Maine’s immigrant communities and coordinates communications and outreach on immigration laws and legal rights. The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) is Maine’s only statewide immigration legal services organization. Check out our website for more information: www.ilapmaine.org