Here to Stay: DACA Protected by Supreme Court in a 5-4 Decision

On Thursday, June 18, the United States Supreme Court decision blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

What is DACA?

DACA is available to those who arrived in the United States as a child before the age of 16 and have lived continuously in the country since June 15, 2007. Most significantly, the program allows eligible recipients to receive a renewable two-year deferment from deportation and be eligible for work permits. President Obama enacted the policy in 2012 via an executive order.

You may request DACA if you meet all the following criteria:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

At this time, DACA recipients continue to keep their status and benefits. Current recipients can re-apply to the program and renew their status; however, DACA is not accepting new applicants. Further, DACA does not provide a path to citizenship.

The Supreme Court Ruling

Recently, President Trump attempted to rescind the program entirely. As a result, states, independent organizations, and DACA recipients sued and brought the case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court protected DACA in a 5-4 decision citing its removal as “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Decisions Act (ADA).

DACA, and other immigration matters, continue to be a contentious topic in today’s political landscape and a major talking point in the Trump administration. Significantly, an estimated 800,000 people have benefited from DACA, making this Supreme Court decision a win for thousands of undocumented students and workers.

 Migration Resource Center views each case as unique; therefore, it is essential to consult with legal counsel before starting your case as some other options may be available. Don’t hesitate to contact us to begin your consultation.

BY: Ravanna Cantrall, Immigration Paralegal Intern
DATE: June 26, 2020

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