CAPE CORAL, FLA — Fort Myers immigration attorney Pablo Hurtado says a recent federal ruling on DACA didn't come as too much of a surprise.
That's after a district court judge called the program illegal and put a freeze on new applications.
"So current dreamers who've had DACA, they can renew," said Hurtado.
It's a move that's left many hoping for the DACA designation, in a bind.
"Especially those who had graduated high school and were looking forward to their college careers and all of a sudden there's a pause, right? And they might have to take a forced gap year and they don't really know where they're going to be able to work or what they're going to do for this next year," he said.
But new clarification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department is providing a glimmer of hope.
"They're still receiving new applications from new DACA applicants, they're just not going to approve them until the injunction is lifted or if there's some kind of court order. Because there is an expectation that the White House is going to appeal this decision," said Hurtado.
That distinction is leading immigration attorneys, like Hurtado, to encourage new applicants to get their documents in ASAP.
"Sometimes there's a false sense of security that they have until tomorrow to turn in their applications," he said.
And in order to stop the endless cycle of legal challenges, he adds that our federal representatives will have to step in.
"The actual permanent fix will be if congress can pass legislation," he said.
There are at least two immigration-related bills working their way through congress right now.
One is the American Dream and Promise Act, which focuses on providing permanent citizenship specifically for those who qualify for DACA.
That bill has passed the House and is now working its way through the Senate.
The other is House bill 1177, which would provide a path to citizenship to immigrants that have been in the country as of January 1, 2021.
That bill is still working its way through both houses of Congress.