In June 2020, the Supreme Court made an important decision regarding the status of DACA, an immigration program originally put into place by President Barack Obama in 2012. Those currently living in the United States under DACA status remain unsure of their future based on President Trump’s stated desire to end the program, but in order to understand the current state of affairs, it is important to reaffirm what DACA is, how it functions, and what President Trump’s intentions are for the program.
What Is DACA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and it is a program that protects children and young adults who were brought to the United States in their youth. Those who are currently allowed to reside in the United States under DACA do not possess the normally required work or education centric visas that would typically let them stay. Instead, they rely on the DACA program to legalize their temporary presence through a renewable two-year deferral of deportation.
The people who qualify for DACA are those who entered the United States as children; those older than 16 years of age cannot apply. President Barack Obama’s goal in creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was to prevent young children from being deported back to a country that they may not even remember or in which they have no contacts or places to live. The children who qualify for DACA are called Dreamers, and they are eligible for a driver’s license and work permits, as well as education.
What Was The June 2020 DACA Decision?
President Trump moved, in September 2017, to attempt to rescind the DACA program, and the case entered the Supreme Court. In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that President Trump’s reasoning for attempting to rescind the DACA program was “insufficient”. The 5-4 vote noted that the attempt was “arbitrary and capricious,” which saw it run afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act that mandates that such moves must demonstrate adequate justification. Because the rescinding of DACA did not pass the Supreme Court’s scrutiny, nearly 700,000 deportations associated with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have been put on hold.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized that the court’s 5-4 ruling does not indicate that rescinding DACA is unconstitutional or that it will not be done in the future. Rather, the administration broke federal regulations in the method in which it attempted to do away with the program, and this was the cause of the Supreme Court block. Future attempts to remove the DACA program by approaching it through the regular legal channels may occur.
What Happens Next
The future of Dreamers under the DACA program is still uncertain. The executive administration may choose to make another attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at any point in the future, and it is unclear how quickly this choice could progress and whether it would succeed.
However, other alternatives are also a possibility. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has stated that he supports protecting Dreamers and establishing a route for lawful citizenship or permanent residence for them. Currently, Dreamers do not have a path to citizenship in the United States. A large majority of Americans, more than 80 percent across both Democratic and Republican parties, are in favor of letting the beneficiaries of DACA remain in the US. This means that future outcomes for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could be favorable, though it is still too early to tell how the future will progress.
Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security has indicated that it will not proactively share Dreamers’ information with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), so the DACA beneficiaries are in a state of precarious but technically safe limbo. However, it is important to remain aware of the constantly changing immigration landscape in case further changes to the DACA program come to light.
Speak With A Professional Immigration Attorney
To make sure that you and those you love are fully prepared for what the future holds in immigration requirements, it is important that you work with a skilled immigration attorney. This will help you understand how you may be affected by the DACA decision in June and in immigration law and the challenges of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Regulations and decisions are constantly changing, particularly in this current and post-COVID situation.
The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to assist you with any concerns that you have regarding DACA or other aspects of immigration law, including assistance and information about special immigrant juvenile status. From proactively planning future steps, compiling petitions and responses, to requests for evidence, Kermit A. Monge and associates have the experience to create a strategy for your individual situation that will work for the best possible outcome in your case. Get in touch to discuss your circumstances by calling 703.273.5500 or by requesting a consultation online.