Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is still available for renewals, but not new applicants. The information below reviews the history of the program, leading up to the cancellation of the program, the Court rulings blocking that cancellation and proposed legislation for a permanent solution for DACA recipients.
The status of the legal battle over DACA.
Here’s a summary of where DACA stands now and where things go from here:
On September 5, 2017, Donald Trump announced the rescission of the DACA program. Those who have DACA status were to begin to lose their status on March 5, 2018, but a San Francisco District Court judge ordered the government to continue renewals. While that case was pending, two other federal judges issued similar injunctions against Trump.
Earlier in 2018, the Administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite its review of these rulings but the Supreme Court refused. In the meantime, the San Francisco judge’s decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In November, 2018, that Court ruled in favor of the DACA recipients and against the Trump Administration. The decision of the three-judge panel was unanimous. While this is not a final decision, it affirms the lower court’s injunction requiring the administration to keep the program open for renewals. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco told the Trump Administration it acted without legal basis when it sought to closed down DACA.
DACA Appeal (CNN)
“We conclude that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA — at least as justified on this record — is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” reads the opinion.
What does this mean for DACA?
For now, persons who already have DACA can continue filing renewals. We recommend that applicants do so 150 days before their DACA expires.
Unfortunately, new applicants are still not eligible.
What about DACA legislation?
The 2018 Congress failed to act on DACA. After devoting a week to debating solutions for DACA holders, the Senate did not approve any of several proposals it considered. None of the proposals received the 60 votes necessary to become law in the Senate, largely due to the efforts of the Trump Administration to oppose all proposals except one that would eliminate much of family sponsorship and slash legal immigration in half.
A vote for a Dream Act law never occurred in the current House of Representatives. That will almost certainly change now that the Democrats will control the House in January. The new House of Representatives will likely pass a law offering a path to permanent residence for DACA holders. Then it will be up to the Senate to consider a bill already approved by the House.