DACA Is Halted, And In Jeopardy–Again
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is once again on life support. The program has been implemented and stopped numerous times. This time, a federal court ruling threatens to end it for good, and appears to have, at least for now, suspended the program.
What is DACA?
DACA is a program that was supposed to provide a pathway to citizenship to immigrants who were brought to this country illegally when they were very young. DACA applicants must have been in the United State before 2007, and before they reached the age of 16.
Having grown up in America, and identifying as American, and having come to the United States through no fault of their own, the logic of DACA goes, they should be allowed to become citizens. Many DACA immigrants have made large contributions to technology, and in fact, Microsoft even joined in the lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s attempts to end the program years ago.
Some estimates say that there are about 250,000 kids that have at least one parent in the country that are here under or because of the DACA program.
A Back and Forth Legal History
The program was started by Obama, and then stopped by the Trump administration. Then, the Supreme Court weighed in, saying DACA was stopped illegally, thus re-starting the program.
Then, just recently a federal court in Texas stopped the program, again. The ruling leaves the system intact, but prevents any further applicants under the program, effectively ending it for anyone not currently in the DACA system. Those currently in the DACA program will also be allowed to renew their status.
This time, in the Texas case, numerous states sued to end the program, claiming that it was creating hardships for them. Making matters more difficult—and the reason why there are so many procedural challenges to the law—is that DACA was a Presidential executive order, not actual legislation passed by Congress.
That was the crux of this legal challenge—that when originally passed, DACA exceeded then-President Obama’s legal authority. The states argued in the recent Texas case that DACA could only be implemented by an actual law.
Representatives of dreamers, who opposed the lawsuit, said that the states suing had no standing, because they could not demonstrate that they had sustained any harm at all because of the program.
What’s Next for DACA?
People now are calling on Congress to pass a law protecting so-called “dreamers,” in order to avoid the on-again off-again legal challenges to the DACA program. Alternatively, the Department of Homeland Security could rewrite some of its rules and regulations, to clean up some of the constitutional deficiencies cited by the Court.
Additionally, the Biden Administration has said that the Justice Department will appeal the ruling.
There may be an immigration program to help you remain in the country. Contact the Palm Beach County immigration attorneys at Devore Law Group today with any questions that you may have about immigration for you or your family.