What is the Latest On Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a policy that was initially implemented in August 2012, by then Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to defer the deportation of eligible Dreamers of good moral character, who lacked the intent to violate immigration law upon entry into the U.S.

This policy worked well under the Obama administration, and approximately 800,000 Dreamers benefited from DACA by obtaining deferred action and employment authorization.

However, on September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would be rescinding the DACA policy during the following six months through March 5, 2018.

The decision indicated that the 6-month wind-down process would allow Congress to pass legislation to address the status of the Dreamers. 

Since this announcement, two cases were filed in federal courts, one in California and one in New York, challenging the Trump administration's decision to rescind DACA. Here are the details:

  • On January 9, 2018, U.S. District Judge William Alsup for the Northern District of California ruled that the federal government should partially maintain the DACA program, until lawsuits filed against the Trump Administration are resolved.
  • On February 13, 2018, the U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis from the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of New York also issued the same nationwide injunction.

The injunctions mean that DACA recipients can continue to file for DACA renewal. However, no new applications can be filed for individual who have never been granted DACA.   

As a result, the Trump administration was looking to skip the typical appeal process at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by going directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. On February 26, 2018, a decision announced by the U.S. Supreme Court stated it would not rule on the merits of the case. 

Instead, the ruling simply stated that the U.S. Supreme Court did not certify the case for appeal, stating also that they assumed the U.S. Court of Appeals would proceed expeditiously to decide the case. 

Many experts, as well as the immigration lawyers at Murphy Desmond S.C., believe this case will be taken on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issues a ruling. 

What are current concerns for DACA recipients? 

The ruling is a temporary relief to current DACA recipients. Given the standing nationwide injunctions, this means that DACA recipients can continue to renew their DACA, while the case continues the appeal process and reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. 

As a result, Murphy Desmond’s immigration attorneys have been fielding many questions from DACA recipients concerned about their status. Because the injunction continues, many DACA recipients plan to renew their DACA, so they can continue to attend school and work and not be placed in deportation proceedings. 

For questions about DACA or other immigration matters, contact Attorney Glorily A. López at (608) 270-5550 for Madison or (920) 882-1211 for Fox Cities.

Information current as of March 1, 2018