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Supreme Court Inaction Protects DACA Recipients

Supreme Court Inaction Protects DACA Recipients

Supreme Court Inaction Protects DACA Recipients

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an Obama-era immigration policy that protects nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants from the deportation process. These people were illegally brought to America as children and have lived in this country for their entire lives. After Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act in 2012, President Obama instituted DACA as a “temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.” However, Congress never approved an acceptable DACA replacement, and the Trump Administration is doing everything in its power to end the program.

The Trump Administration vs. DACA

During his election campaign, President Trump promised to limit legal immigration, deport undocumented immigrants, and build a wall spanning the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border. However, neither Mexico or Congress are willing to fund Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall. In retaliation, President Trump initiated the longest recorded government shutdown in American history, pushing hundreds of non-detainee immigration cases back by months and even years.

On January 19, 2019, President Trump offered to end the government shutdown and support a 3-year extension for DACA and TPS recipients. Of course, this was only if Democrats agreed to fund his border wall to end the “humanitarian and national security” crisis at the border. Democratic lawmakers immediately refused to accept this loaded overture of reconciliation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released the following statement in response to the President’s speech: “It was the president who singlehandedly took away DACA and TPS protections in the first place. Offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise, but more hostage taking.”

The Supreme Court

President Trump mistakenly anticipated that the Supreme Court would issue a ruling on DACA and his border wall to end the government shutdown. To his dismay, the court took no action on the issue, effectively allowing the program to continue, however temporarily. Sam Erman, an associate professor at the University of California Gould School of Law, explained to Lydia Wheeler of The Hill that “the longer the justices leave an issue hanging out there, the more likely they are to want to wait until the next term to weight in…there are good reasons to want to wait on DACA.” At present, the justices likely won’t make a final decision on DACA until 2020.

In her article, “Supreme Court Takes no Action on DACA,” Lydia Wheeler clarifies that “Multiple district courts found the administration’s 2017 decision to wind down the program to be either unlawful or likely unlawful and ordered for it to be maintained. Solicitor General Noel Francisco has asked the Supreme Court to make a final decision on whether the rescission is lawful or not. Francisco’s request, however, was unusual because it asked the justices to take up the issue before the regional appeals courts have weighed in…He also argued that the very existence of this litigation and resulting uncertainty would continue to impede efforts to enact legislation addressing the legitimate policy concerns underlying the DACA policy.”

An Uncertain Future

Appeals are still pending in the 2nd and 4th Circuits. Unfortunately, the ongoing political tit-for-tat between Republicans and Democrats has left DACA beneficiaries with no clear path forward. People already enrolled in the program can apply for renewal, but the administration may not accept new applications.

Have Questions or Concerns? Contact Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP at (619) 900-6778

If you have any concerns about your legal rights as an undocumented immigrant or a DACA recipient, contact the San Diego immigration attorneys at Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP. We’ve dedicated our careers to helping people navigate the countless challenges associated with this multifaceted legal process. Our legal team is armed with a comprehensive understanding of federal immigration laws and regulations. When your future is on the line, turn to a firm that can guide you through each step of your legal journey.

We want to help you achieve your personal American dream. Contact Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP at (619) 900-6778 to schedule a consultation.

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