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DACA Applications Pour In As Program Opens Up For First Time In 3 Years

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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With the door to apply for DACA open for the first time in more than three years, hundreds of high school and college students in California are rushing to apply, fearful it will be slammed shut again.

A federal judge ordered the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on Dec. 4 to fully restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that provides temporary protection from deportation and permission to work for about 700,000 young people who came to the U.S. as children.

Court battles ensued after the Trump administration attempted to end DACA in September 2017, and first-time applications have not been accepted since then. Although the attempt to end the program was described as "arbitrary and capricious" by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, the Trump administration continued denying new applications until Dec. 7, after a federal judge ordered them to begin accepting them.

Still, the future of DACA is uncertain. A hearing on a separate lawsuit, in which Texas and six other states sued to end DACA, is scheduled for Dec. 22 in a Houston federal court. Some attorneys are concerned that the agency could again stop accepting new applications sometime after that date.

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California Students Rush To Apply For DACA For The First Time In Three Years