The U.S. Supreme Court today blocked the Trump administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program protects undocumented immigrants that were brought to the country as children, also known as “dreamers.”
The 5 to 4 decision was written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and joined by the court’s four liberal justices. The court determined that the Trump administration's efforts to end the programs was arbitrary and capricious.
The Supreme Court did not decide on the legality of the DACA program overall, but merely that the government did not follow proper procedures in trying to end it. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the government failed to give an adequate justification for ending the program. The administration could again try to shut it down by offering a more detailed explanation for its action, but experts believe that this is unlikely to happen before the November election.
The big question for many people, including many immigration lawyers, is whether the government must now start accepting new DACA applications. Since September 2017, USCIS has only accepted renewals of status for existing DACA holders and has not allowed first-time DACA applications. We believe that USCIS will now be required to accept new cases, so if you are eligible, please apply ASAP.
DACA is available to a person who meets the following criteria:
DACA was announced by the Obama administration on June 15, 2012 to provide protection from deportation and a work permit to certain young immigrants for a two-year period, subject to renewal. Nearly 800,000 people have been granted deferred action through the DACA program since its inception.
For more information, please contact Elaine Martin, Immigration lawyer.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.