FAQs & Explainers

This community resource is a condensed explainer for anyone with questions about DACA, with a brief overview on who can apply, who can renew, and what the recent USCIS changes to the program mean.
For many immigrants, learning what their status is does not come into full scope until they apply for driver’s licenses, financial aid, travel documents, or other benefits that are a part of adulthood’s accompanying responsibilities. Regardless of one’s age, however, it is important that everyone understand the differences between the distinct categories recognized by the federal government so as to be well informed and exercise caution throughout daily life.
Across the country, states and localities are increasingly moving to end marijuana prohibition laws. For immigrant communities, despite the changing attitude toward marijuana-related conduct at the state level, an old conviction can still form the basis for immigration-related consequences at the federal level. Though federal legal reforms may be the only way to completely eradicate the immigration consequences of marijuana-related conduct and convictions, reforms at the state level can nevertheless help stop the arrest-to-deportation pipeline. Drawing from our experience with state and municipal efforts across the country, this resource, jointly produced by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the Drug Policy Alliance, lists best practices for municipalities and states looking to decriminalize in a way that lessens the immigration-related harms of marijuana criminalization.
California is in the midst of an historic reform of its Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Under current plans, failed DJJ facilities will close, creating an opportunity for youth to be cared for close to home through community-based programs and services. But if DJJ closes, it must close justly. Any closure must divest from carceral solutions and invest in restorative and transformative justice rooted in community wellness and safety. Any closure must take into account the needs of all impacted communities, including immigrant youth. This resource highlights the two main ways that noncitizen youth may be impacted by the DJJ closure and makes recommendations to ensure that DJJ closes justly for all.
On July 30, 2020, Attorney General Barr issued Matter of Reyes, 28 I&N Dec. 52 (A.G. 2020), a case involving a longtime lawful permanent resident with a single conviction for violating a larceny statute that criminalizes both theft and fraud, and is indivisible as between these means of commission. She had been sentenced to over one year in prison and there was an established loss amount of greater than $10,000. This practice alert provides a summary of the decision and potential practice tips for both immigration practitioners and criminal defense attorneys representing noncitizens in criminal and immigration cases. These tips focus on challenging the correctness of the AG's new theory of removability, challenging any judicial deference to the AG's opinion, fighting DHS efforts to file new NTAs or motions to reopen past proceedings, contesting retroactive application of the new decision, and criminal defense strategies for avoiding its reach in advising noncitizens on resolving open criminal matters.  
On July 28, 2020 the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum severely restricting the DACA program. Despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision fully reinstating the program, the Trump administration has issued another attack on the program. This community alert gives a brief summary of memorandum and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Implementing Guidance issued on August 21, 2020 and what it means for community members.
This timeline provides a quick, visual summary of the changes to public charge policy at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) from January 2018 through July 29, 2021.
This video details how to complete a DACA renewal application packet by walking through the various forms’ questions to highlight what they mean and focus on areas worth paying close attention to. As always, we highly encourage applicants to seek a consultation with a trusted legal service provider before submitting their packets. Namely this is so applicants can ensure they are submitting their information as accurately as possible and addressing the dimensions of their specific case that may or may not allow them to be eligible for other forms of immigration relief. In this one-hour walkthrough video, the ILRC’s Legal Outreach Coordinator, Abraham Bedoy, dives deep into each form required for a renewal so those taking on their own application packet (forms: I-821D, I-765, I-765WS, G-1145) can follow along to double-check their entries.