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DACA Updates:

Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Since the Trump administration first announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be cancelled, several different states and other parties have sued the Trump Administration to reinstate the program. Below is a brief summary of DACA related litigation, which will be updated continuously:

Current Status of DACA:
Due to several different federal court rulings, applications for DACA renewals are still being accepted, but initial applications from those who do not currently have DACA are not being accepted.

Summary of ongoing DACA related litigation:

  • On January 9, 2018, a federal judge in California ordered USCIS to continue to accept DACA renewal applications. On February 13, 2018, a federal judge in New York issued a similar ruling. Both of these decisions also permitted USCIS to accept initial DACA applications, but did not require it, and USCIS has chosen not to accept any initial DACA applications.
  • The Trump Administration appealed directly to the Supreme Court, asking them the reverse these decisions by federal judges. On February 26, 2018, the Supreme Court denied certiorari, indicating that the Trump Administration cannot bypass the court of appeals before appealing to the Supreme Court.
  • On March 5, 2018, a third federal judge chose not to prevent the Trump administration from winding down the DACA program. However, this ruling has no effect, due to the two previous federal court rulings that the government must continue to accept DACA renewal applications.
  • On April 24, 2018, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., found that the Trump Administration's decision to rescind DACA was "arbitrary and capricious," and required the government to continue to accept DACA renewals and to also accept initial DACA applications. However, the court allowed the Trump Administration 90 days to respond before implementing the order. This unfortunately means that initial DACA applications still are not accepted.
  • On May 1, 2018, Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit in Federal District court in Texas seeking to declare DACA unlawful in general. This is a distinct lawsuit from those which challenge the Trump Administration's decision to terminate the DACA program. Rather, this lawsuit asks the judge to rule that the DACA program itself was unlawful when it was created by the Obama Administration in 2012. The lawsuit also seeks a nationwide injunction to prevent the federal government from issuing or renewing any DACA permits moving forward. Interestingly, this lawsuit is before Judge Andrew Hanen, the same judge that had previously blocked Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), a different program implemented by the Obama Administration, from going into effect.


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