Federal government says it will accept DACA applications after court order

WASHINGTON -- Citizenship and Immigration Services says it's resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under the Obama-era program that shields from deportation young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and who remain in the country illegally. In a statement posted Saturday on its website, the USCIS says the policy under the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, will be operated under the terms in place before it was rescinded in September. 

The decision comes four days after a federal judge, in a nod to pending lawsuits, temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the program. 

Congressional lawmakers are trying to write legislation to give the so-called Dreamers legal status.

Former President Obama enacted DACA as an executive order in 2012 to protect undocumented immigrants who came here as children. Critics call it an unlawful program that promotes illegal immigration, lacked congressional approval and takes jobs from U.S. citizens.

DACA has protected about 800,000 people, many of them college-age students.