In what most observers are calling a surprise ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects 650,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation cannot be immediately ended. In the 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court determined that the 2017 decision to unilaterally end DACA was arbitrary and capricious. Because the administration did not provide a viable rationale for ending the program, the recision violated the Administrative Procedure Act. That law dictates how the government can issue and retract regulations. The Trump administration failed to provide a reasonable rationale for ending the program.
How does this ruling affect Dreamers? Dreamers with DACA protections can continue renewing their status, which provides work authorization, eligibility for federal financial aid in higher education, and protections from deportation for two years. Eligible dreamers without DACA status should now be able to apply for the program. DACA applications were halted when the program was illegally ended. Though courts forced the Trump administration to process renewal applications during the court fight, they did not require new applications to be processed. Details about processing new applications have not been announced at this time.
Immigration attorney Yesenia Acosta hails the ruling, saying “This is a groundbreaking decision that will help our immigrant youth continue their dreams of pursuing a career of their choice through legal work authorization without living in fear of deportation. A policy allowing all youth in the U.S. to pursue professional careers is the best investment in our future.”
It is unknown whether or not the Trump administration will attempt to legally end the DACA program after this ruling. It is also unknown whether or not the U.S. Congress will examine possible legislation to protect Dreamers.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help Dreamers with DACA renewals, DACA applications, and seeking possible avenues to permanent residence. Please call 888-517-9888 for a free immigration consultation.