DACA Updates

On September 13, 2023,  district court judge Hanen (again) ruled that DACA is unlawful.   However, although this is a negative ruling, DACA renewals and Advance Parole applications continue to be accepted and processed. Initial DACA applications, unfortunately, are still not being processed.  

This district court decision has not take away DACA renewals for current DACA recipients (a decision like this would be up to the appeals court, or later, the Supreme Court). That means that, despite the ruling this fall, the following remain true:

  • DACA renewals are still open. This could change, which is why we urge you to renew as soon as possible while the courts are still allowing these applications to be processed.
  • First-time DACA applications continue to stay in limbo and will not be processed.
  • Advance parole for current DACA recipients is still available.

Visit Informed Immigrant's DACA in the Courts page for more.

On Wednesday, October 6, 2022, an appeals court in the Fifth Circuit ruled that DACA is unlawful and sent the case challenging the DACA policy back to the district court that originally ruled to end the program. While this ruling maintains the DACA status-quo for now, it was a negative outcome.  DACA remains in jeopardy.

DACA recipients should know that they can continue to renew for now and that their work permits remain valid. This means that if you have a work permit today, it remains; and programs like Advanced Parole remain. Unfortunately, this ruling also maintains the status quo that DHS will not process first-time DACA applications.

Check out DACA Update: What You Need to Know for more.


On, April 12, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that individuals who previously received deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may now file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, online.



On July 16, 2021, a Texas Federal District Court ruled DACA unlawful. Key takeaways for DACA recipients:

  • If you have DACA right now, you can keep it.
  • If you have a renewal in place, you can keep renewing until further notice.
  • If you have a granted/approved initial DACA application, it is still good.
  • If you have DACA right now, you can still apply for advance parole.
  • If you have a pending initial application (not yet granted/approved), there is an indefinite freeze on that application.

Looking for help to make sense of the ruling?  Check out these resources:

On December 15, 2021, Amherst College signed onto a brief field in appeal of this summer's DACA ruling.

For a more comprehensive list of federal immigration updates, visit the Federal Updates page. 

Final Rule: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On September 27, 2021, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, echoing the "preserving and fortifying" language of President Biden's DACA-centered Executive Order on January 20, 2021.

On November 18, 2021, President Biddy Martin submitted a public comment in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in response to DHS's Proposed Rule.

On August 24, 2022, DHS announced the final rule (to be published August 30, 2022) to codify the DACA 2012 policy into regulation.  In this final rule, the name, eligibility criteria, application process, and cost remain the same as the current DACA program.  While the proposed rule included a decoupling of protection from deportation and work permits, the final rule does not.  Importantly, the freeze on the processing of initial applications is still active by court order—the new rule does not open applications to new applicants. The regulation goes into effect starting October 31, 2022.  For more information, visit DACA Final Rule: What You Need to Know.

The Office of Immigration Services (OIS) supports all students at Amherst College who are navigating the legal landscape of immigration policy in the U.S.  You can read more about us here

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the director of the OIS, Hanna Bliss, with any questions or if we can be of any support.

Amherst College's Committment

"We will keep our commitment to recruiting, admitting, and educating the most talented students regardless of where they were born or what resources their families might enjoy. We will also continue to meet every student’s full financial need, whether that student is an American citizen, a permanent resident, an international student, or an undocumented immigrant."  — Letter to campus from President Biddy Martin on September 5, 2017.

On-Campus Resources

Career Resources

Legal Resources

Regional Resources

  • Center for New Americans — The Center for New Americans welcomes and serves immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers.  Center for New Americans offers assistance with DACA applications and renewals. 
  • Central West Justice Center — The Central West Justice Center, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Community Legal Aid, provides free legal help to low-income and elderly residents of central and western Massachusetts. Advocates focus on cases involving humanitarian-based immigration law, employment rights, housing and homelessness issues, and access to public benefits.
  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center — The Pioneer Valley Workers’ Center builds power with low-wage and immigrant workers throughout Western Massachusetts.
  • Amherst Police Department: Immigrant Community Members — This site provides details about the scope of the police department's authority and resources, including information about U-Visa Certification.
  • Town of Amherst: Police Department Directive — Detailed police policy statement regarding immigrant rights, immigration status; procedures for immigration complaints, and much more.

Additional Resources