DACA Restored but Still Vulnerable
Immigration advocates and DACA beneficiaries were relieved when the United States Supreme Court reversed President’s Trump attempted shutdown of the DACA program on June 18, 2020. Since its implementation by President Obama in 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has offered undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States the ability to remain and work in the country despite their status. The program has since faced frequent legal challenges, however, and the Obama administration’s attempt to expand the program in 2014 was ultimately shot down by the courts. As it stands, the number of eligible DACA immigrants has not expanded since the program’s introduction.
President Trump took things a step further when, in 2017, he attempted to end the program outright. Though the President did request a more permanent, legislative solution at that time, the Republican-controlled houses of Congress did not act, leaving DACA beneficiaries potentially vulnerable to deportation. The attempted shutdown was immediately met with legal action, making its way through the judicial system to the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices in ruling 5-4 against the Trump administration.
The decision immediately restores the DACA program in its entirety. Existing DACA beneficiaries can now renew their status and are not in any immediate danger of deportation proceedings. Eligible immigrants can also file new applications with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
It is important to understand, however, that the Supreme Court’s decision could be described as narrow: The Court did not object to Trump’s ending the DACA in principle. Instead, they objected to the manner in which he rescinded the program.
The Court’s opinion suggests that the Trump administration could potentially successfully shut down the program through a different executive action. Many political commentators have suggested the Trump administration is unlikely to do so in the near future, as DACA is widely considered to be a popular program, and further efforts to end it could harm the President’s odds of reelection.
Even so, while DACA may be theoretically safe for now, the program and its beneficiaries are still vulnerable to future dismantling efforts. The only way to end this risk is a more permanent legislative solution passed by Congress. Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden alluded to this reality in his statement of support for the decision, pledging to make such legislation a priority if elected.
Have Questions About DACA? We Can Help.
While DACA is inherently susceptible to further legal challenges, for now it remains an excellent immigration tool. If you are confused about your eligibility, are struggling to new your existing status, or need assistance filing an initial application, we can help. We at The Modi Law Firm, PLLC understand the stakes and are committed to giving your situation the compassionate advocacy it deserves. Our immigration attorneys have substantial experience and are award-winning, earning the “Best Lawyers of America” distinction in 2017 by Best Lawyers.
No matter your situation, we want to see if we can fight for you. Call (832) 514-4030 or contact us online to request your consultation.