Federal Court Ruling on DACA


A federal appellate court ruled last week that the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program violated federal law. The three-person appeals panel over-ruled the previous 2018 statement, in favor two to one, found that the Trump administration was “arbitrary and capricious” in ending the Obama-era program, which grants temporary immigration benefits, including work authorization, to certain non-citizens who were brought to the United States before 16 years old. Most DACA dreamers were brought into the country by their parents during their youth.

The ruling should have little to no immediate effect on DACA dreamers because numerous other federal appellate courts have yet to make their decisions on the issue, and the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to decide on DACA in the near future. It is unlikely that U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) will change its policies on DACA as a result of this decision. Currently, initial applications for DACA are not being accepted by USCIS. However, renewal applications are being accepted and processed.

Finally, it is worth noting that several Democrats in Congress are backing a bill that could provide a pathway to citizenship for childhood arrivals to the United States. The House Judiciary Committee began marking up H.R. 2820, the Dream Act of 2019, and H.R. 2821, the American Promise Act of 2019. This is a big step towards passing protections for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. Re. Jerry Nadler, Democrat from New York, had informed members of the media that the House Judiciary Committee plans on drafting the bill last week. Although Rep. Nadler was optimistic about the bills chances of being passed into law, it is not yet certain how opponents of immigration reform will respond to the proposed legislation.

Do you or a loved one have questions about the current status of DACA, or are you a DACA recipient whose expiration date is approaching? Call Ibrahim Law Office, an immigration firm, to schedule a consultation today.