Administration Acts to Restrict DACA

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the administration’s 2017 rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

As a result, the administration should have begun accepting new DACA applications, but refused to do so, resulting in a subsequent July 17, 2020 federal court order ordering it to.

Rather than comply, the administration issued a memo on July 28, 2020 stating that it is reconsidering the DACA program.

In the interim, the memo stated that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not process or accept any new DACA applications, and that renewal applications for those who already have DACA protection will be limited to only one year rather than the two years that had been the prior policy.

The administration’s actions underscore the need for Congress to act.   For years polls have shown that a bipartisan majority of the public overwhelmingly supports providing a path to permanent status for DACA holders.  A June 2020 poll found that even 69% of those who voted for President Trump in 2016 are in favor.  While the conventional wisdom is that immigration is a wedge issue, members of Congress should not fear protecting “Dreamers” and DACA holders.

More than a year ago, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act that would end the uncertainty that DACA holders face as the administration “reconsiders” the DACA program.  It is past time for the Senate to do the same.