On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court finally issued its decision in the DACA case. The question in the case was whether it was legal for the government to suddenly cancel the DACA program* in 2017. The decision was NO, it wasn’t legal to do that. What does this mean?
Despite the Trump administration’s announcement cancelling DACA in 2017, the program has survived, but only because of the lawsuits filed in several federal courts. Appeals during the last 3 years went all the way to the Supreme Court. We have been eagerly awaiting the court’s decision ever since the arguments were heard in November of 2019.
On June 18th, the Supreme Court finally released the decision, stating clearly that the government could not cancel the program in the way it had attempted. Therefore the DACA program exists, as of now – as it did when the program began. It is designed to protect “Dreamers,” from deportation, and to give them permission to live and work here temporarily.
So – what now? Can people apply for DACA status? The answer is clearly yes, according to the Supreme Court Order. However, USCIS has not yet issued any guidance, instructions or forms to apply. Instead, on the website (www.uscis.gov), it says this:
Today’s court opinion has no basis in law and merely delays the President’s lawful ability to end the illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty program…. The fact remains that under DACA, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens continue to remain in our country in violation of the laws passed by Congress and to take jobs Americans need now more than ever. Ultimately, DACA is not a long-term solution for …for these illegal aliens…
Shocking. Outrageous. USCIS is simply ignoring the fact that the Supreme Court ordered that the program must continue. No one can appeal to any other higher authority. There is no higher authority.
This week, the Trump administration said that it will try to legally cancel the program. We shall see. In the meantime, people should be able to apply for DACA again.
The USCIS statement calling Dreamers illegal aliens is offensive. It’s also legally and factually wrong. DACA is one of the most important and successful immigration policies in decades. It has benefitted millions of people – dreamers and their families. Many dreamers (including one of my relatives) are essential health care workers in the fight to stop COVID19. It could not me more clear that we need these DACA workers here in the U.S.
Stay in touch if you are interested in applying for DACA. We expect that new applications will be accepted soon. Contact us for a consultation if you think you might qualify.
*The DACA program is for those individuals who:
- Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
- Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
- Have not been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors
- Have completed a high school degree or its equivalent
And other requirements described on the USCIS website. www.uscis.gov.