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Federal District Judge Halts Initial DACA Applications, but Renewals to Continue

On July 15, a Texas federal judge found the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal and blocked new applications.  However, the ruling allows current DACA beneficiaries to continue to seek renewal of status, because, the judge noted, "It is not equitable for a government program that has engendered such significant reliance to terminate suddenly." 

 For the same reason, the court order does not “require DHS or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that it would not otherwise take.”   As a result, DACA recipients are in no in immediate danger of deportation or loss of work authorization.

 The Biden administration intends to appeal; however, it will be to the 5th Circuit, a court not friendly to the Democratic administration.  The Supreme Court has previously avoided ruling on the legality of DACA’s creation, but should the program reach that level once again, it may be more readily overturned due to the make-up of the current court.

 In the meantime, immigration advocates hope the threat to Dreamers, including current DACA beneficiaries, will force Congress to enact legislation providing a pathway to citizenship.  Senate Democrats are attempting to pass such a provision, but it is unclear whether they can win full Senate approval.

 If you have questions about how this decision may affect your immigration situation, feel free to call us at 847 763 8500 or contact us through our web site,

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