The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was launched by President Barack Obama in June 2012. In September 2017, the Trump Administration announced its intention to shut down the program. But thanks to the federal courts, DACA is still alive.
DACA has provided work authorization and protection from deportation to roughly 785,000 immigrants known as the “Dreamers” – young immigrants who entered the U.S. as children with their parents. These young people have lived almost their entire lives in the United States.
The Trump Administration was scheduled to end the DACA program in March 2018, but the courts blocked that effort, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is keeping the DACA program alive, at least for now.
WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT’S RULING?
Early in November, a panel of three federal judges with the Ninth Circuit Court upheld a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by a lower court. That injunction temporarily prevents the Trump Administration from shutting down the DACA program.
The Ninth Circuit Court is ordering the Department of Homeland Security to continue accepting DACA renewal applications. The Ninth Circuit Court’s order blocks the Trump Administration from ending DACA – at least until pending litigation determines the program’s ultimate fate.
It is important to emphasize that the Ninth Circuit Court has not “saved” the DACA program, and in fact, no one should try to guess what will eventually happen to the DACA program and the Dreamers.
WHERE CAN DREAMERS GET THE LEGAL ADVICE THEY NEED?
Having the advice of an experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney – and following that advice – is the wisest move right now for any immigrant and for any business that employs immigrants.
A good immigration attorney can address your concerns and help you make sense of the rapidly-changing immigration laws and court rulings.
Back in February, several proposals were considered in the U.S. Senate to provide the Dreamers with some kind of legal status, but the lawmakers could not come to any agreement. No one can say what a new Congress – or a new Supreme Court – may do in 2019.
WILL THE SUPREME COURT MAKE A FINAL DETERMINATION ABOUT DACA?
For a second time, the Trump Administration has asked the Supreme Court to review and rule on the DACA cases. A first request was rejected in February 2018.
However, after the Ninth Circuit Court’s most recent action, some observers now say that the Supreme Court may consider the DACA matter as early as the spring of 2019. Or it may not. The Supreme Court might instead decide to let the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling stand.
WHAT SHOULD DREAMERS AND THEIR EMPLOYERS DO NOW?
For now, the Dreamers and their U.S. employers may continue to operate under the DACA program.
The Department of Homeland Security will keep accepting renewal applications for DACA, and “Dreamers” with current employment authorization documents (EADs) may retain their employment until the expiration dates of their EADs.
The federal courts are considering a number of immigration issues, and Congress in 2019 will consider a variety of immigration proposals. The president could issue another executive order regarding immigration – at any time.
WHAT HAS NOT CHANGED?
For the average person, the immigration laws have probably never been more perplexing. What has not changed, however, is your right to have a good lawyer’s help.
Employers and DACA beneficiaries who have questions or concerns regarding DACA or any other immigration matter should seek sound legal advice – and seek it promptly – from an experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney. That remains your right.