Rescuing DACA

gavel with America flag, immigration lawyerA recent federal court ruling found that Trump’s attempt to end DACA violates federal law. The ruling was the latest one in the federal court system that was in favor of the program. Currently, several federal courts are handling cases in which people have sued the Trump administration over attempts to end the DACA program. The cases may ultimately be heard and decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020.

What Is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was instituted by former President Barack Obama. DACA allows people who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the U.S. and work. It does not provide a pathway to citizenship, but it protects people who qualify from deportation and removal proceedings as long as they work or attend college and avoid committing criminal offenses. There are more than 800,000 DACA recipients and a total of 1.3 million people who are eligible for the program.

Trump’s Actions on DACA

After Trump took office, he began moving to end DACA. In Sept. 2017, the administration announced that DACA would end and gave Congress a six-month window to come up with a legislative fix. Members of Congress came up with a bipartisan immigration reform bill that would have saved DACA, but Trump rejected it after he initially said that he would sign it. This left hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients in fear of losing their status in March 2017. Multiple plaintiffs across the U.S. sued the administration in federal court, and the Ninth Circuit issued a nationwide injunction against ending DACA. Other courts are still contending with other lawsuits against the administration over the end of the program.

Recent Decision

The most recent decision came out of the Fourth Circuit. The court ruled that the Trump Administration’s moves to end DACA were arbitrary and capricious and in violation of federal law. They ruled that the Trump Administration did not adequately explain why it was ending the program and that hundreds of thousands of young people have structured their lives in reliance on the program.

The Supreme Court may take up the cases against Trump over DACA. The court may hear the cases in 2020 during the middle of the next election.