New Court Ruling Against Government’s Rescission of DACA

As we’ve discussed previously, on September 5, 2017 the administration announced its rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Three federal courts in California, New York, and the District of Colombia all held that DACA’s rescission was unlawful, and blocked termination of DACA for those who already had it prior to the program’s rescission.  However, a federal court in Maryland ruled in favor of the government.

The DACA plaintiffs appealed the Maryland decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued an order on May 17, 2019  finding that the administration’s action was arbitrary and capricious and vacating the lower court’s ruling.

There is no practical effect on DACA holders as a result of this latest decision, since injunctions from the California, New York and D.C. federal courts are still in effect, requiring USCIS to continue to accept DACA renewal applications.

The Supreme Court declined to hear the DACA litigation in January, so the soonest the  issue would reach that court would be after its next term begins in October 2019.   (UPDATE:  On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court turned down another request by the government to fast track consideration of the DACA decision in the Maryland case, making it impossible for the Supreme Court to hear the case prior to its next term).

Meanwhile, bills in Congress would  provide a path to permanent residency for DACA holders.  Let’s hope that Congress will act so that DACA holders can finally leave their legal limbo and have the stability that only permanent status will bring.