The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will stay in effect until further notice. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to immediately review an injunction that blocked the termination of DACA from taking effect.
Instead, the Supreme Court will wait until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has a chance to issue a ruling. Once that happens, the Supreme Court may review the Ninth Circuit decision.
As we have previously reported, the “Dreamers” are individuals who were brought as children to the United States without immigration status. Although they are not legally in the United States, the Dreamers have spent most of their lives here and may have little, if any, knowledge of their parents’ nations of origin. Many of them are now adults who are in the U.S. workforce.
In 2012, after Congress failed to address the status of Dreamers, President Obama instituted the DACA program by Executive Order. The DACA program gave approximately 800,000 beneficiaries deferred action from deportation, the right to employment authorization, and the right to travel abroad (advance parole) and to return to the United States.
On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that DACA was ending and, as stated by Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, would be terminated “in an orderly fashion that protects beneficiaries in the near-term while [the Administration would be] working with Congress to pass legislation.”
Meanwhile, in January, a federal judge in San Francisco issued an injunction ordering that the DACA program be for the most part left in place nationwide, but not as to new applications from individuals who had not yet received deferred action. This court ruling was of particular importance to DACA recipients whose benefits expired after March 5, because under the Trump Administration’s plan, only applicants whose DACA benefits applications were pending or expired between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, were able to apply to renew their DACA eligibility.
The Trump Administration appealed to the Ninth Circuit, but also took the unusual action of filing a petition with the Supreme Court for immediate review, thereby seeking to skip the appellate court step. But the Supreme Court declined without explanation: “The petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment is denied without prejudice. It is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case.” (Scroll to page 5 of the linked document.)
Now the Administration will have to wait for a ruling by the Ninth Circuit. It is likely that the Ninth Circuit will follow the Supreme Court’s suggestion and proceed expeditiously. If the Ninth Circuit upholds the injunction, it is likely that the injunction will remain in place for several months while the Administration tries again to get a Supreme Court review and until the Supreme Court issues a ruling.