United States Supreme Court Upholds DACA Program - For Now
On June 18, 2020 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration may not immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and must keep accepting renewal applications for the program. This is a huge victory for the thousands of Dreamers in the United States.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices to form a 5-4 majority that upheld the DACA program, a program that temporarily protects about 650,000 Dreamers from deportation. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the decision was a procedural one, and that the Trump Administration had acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner in the way in which the program was terminated. The Court said that the parties agree that DHS has the authority to end the DACA program, but did not follow the proper procedural requirements when ending the program.
Roberts also touched on the many contributions that Dreamers have on our society and noted that DACA recipients have enrolled in degree programs, have careers, purchased homes, and have built their lives here on reliance of the DACA program. He wrote that ending the DACA program would result in huge economic losses over the next ten years from lost tax revenue and labor from the workforce. In all, about 90% of Dreamers are employed and 45% are in school. There are also about 30,000 Dreamers that work in the healthcare industry and have been fighting on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A day after this ruling was announced, President Trump again expressed his desire to end the DACA program and announced the Administration would once again attempt to end the DACA progam in line with the Supreme Court’s most recent decision. There is also a current legal battle in Texas where the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive order that established DACA is being challenged. These legal challenges to DACA show the need for a permanent solution and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.
What if I need my DACA authorization renewed or want to apply for the first time?
After the Supreme Court’s ruling, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept renewal applications for recipients who have already had DACA authorization in the past. Before this ruling, USCIS had stopped accepting applications for new applicants due to the pending litigation. Now, USCIS should begin to accept applications for people who have never applied before, as well as advance parole applications for DACA recipients, but it is not yet known what actions the Trump Administration will take to limit these options.
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This Wandro & Associates Update is intended to inform firm clients and friends about legal developments, including recent decisions of various courts and administrative bodies. Nothing in this Practice Update should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, and readers should not act upon the information contained in this Update without seeking the advice of legal counsel.