What Happened to DACA?

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As you may know, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been subject to many judicial decisions since the Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017, announcement to gradually end the program on March 5, 2018.

On January 9, 2018, Judge William H. Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California temporarily blocked the Trump Administration’s plans to rescind DACA. In the ruling, the federal court held that the Trump Administration must resume receiving DACA renewal applications from individuals who were enrolled in DACA when President Trump announced its ending back on September 5, 2017. However, DACA beneficiaries would not be able to apply for advance parole (permission to leave the U.S. and return). In addition, individuals who never before applied to receive DACA would not be able to apply.

Similarly, on February 13, 2018, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York temporarily blocked the Trump Administration from ending DACA. According to Judge Garaufis, even though the Trump Administration can end DACA, the government must offer legally adequate reasons for doing so.

On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Trump Administration’s appeal of Judge Alsup’s decision. The appeal was denied without prejudice and the underlying legal issue may still be considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Indeed, the issue can still end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In summary, DACA beneficiaries are still allowed to renew their status. Nonetheless, advance parole is no longer available and individuals who never applied to receive DACA will not be able to apply. The Trump Administration’s March 5, 2018, deadline to end DACA is largely meaningless now. Finally, it is likely that the litigation will continue its course through the appellate courts.

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