Federal Court Rules to Fully Re-Implement DACA

Good news for DACA advocates this week! A federal judge in New York ruled that the Trump Administration should re-install the program as established under the Obama Administration in 2012 to its “full” capacity.

What Happened

Since 2017, the Trump Administration has attacked the DACA program as unconstitutional. However, after several court fights, the Supreme Court of the United States this June stated that the Trump Administration had no valid reason for dismantling DACA, essentially validating the program and ending the debate.

The Trump Administration nevertheless flouted the SCOTUS decision. It limited DACA to only those currently in the program (excluding new applicants) and limited the duration of the DACA status from 2 years to 1-year.

According to the BBC article, “Now Judge Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn has ruled that Mr Wolf (Director of USCIS) was not acting within his legal authority and that the scheme should resume.”

Impact of Decision

This is welcome news as it is estimated 300,000 individuals are eligible for initial DACA. Approximately, 700,000 individuals are currently in the program. Obama implemented DACA to help those undocumented children who were brought to the United States illegally at no fault of their own. These children became adults and could not function in society and could be deported. Congress has been unable to pass the DREAM Act which would allow legalization of these individuals. The Obama Administration used executive authority under the Immigration Nationality Act Deferred Action statute to implement a specific program called of Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals.

The Biden Administration favors the DREAM Act, but nothing will pass if the Republicans maintain control of the Senate. In the meantime, DACA will be the stopgap approach to allow these individuals to remain legally in the United States and to have work authorization. They renew every 2 years.

If you think you may be eligible for an initial DACA application, call our Denver immigration lawyer, Catherine Brown, at 303-322-2117.