Ruling allows current DACA recipients to renew applications until further notice
ADVOCATES for undocumented youth have just scored themselves another win this week in the months-long battle with the federal government.
In a further breakthrough in favor of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the United States Supreme Court on Monday, February 26 said it wouldn’t be hearing the Trump administration challenge to a federal judge’s ruling that allowed DACA to keep running.
That means that the March 5 deadline that the administration put into place no longer applies. Moreover, the more than 700,000 undocumented youth who are enrolled in DACA may still apply to renew their status.
The Supreme Court’s ruling was largely expected because the justices rarely hear appeals that ask to bypass lower court rulings.
The lower court’s ruling that remains in effect is that of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco which on Jan. 9 ordered the federal government to continue running DACA, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.
As extensively reported on by the Asian Journal, DACA was put into effect by former President Barack Obama in 2012 by way of executive order. Since then, hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. illegally as young children have been granted work authorization, reprieve from deportation and other benefits.
The program gives eligible undocumented youth a two-year permit with the option to renew after it expires.
Economy experts have expressed that DACA has allowed undocumented youth who were previously prohibited from working to contribute to the American economy.
The left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP) conducted a study in 2017 that analyzed the educational and professional experiences of more than 3,000 DACA recipients. The study found that 91 percent of those under DACA are employed and 69 percent found higher paying jobs that better fit their career aspirations.
Notably, if the benefits of DACA remain in place (whether that be through DACA or a permanent solution), they are projected to contribute $460.3 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product over the next ten years.
Since President Donald Trump announced he was terminating DACA in September 2017, advocates for undocumented youth — commonly referred to as DREAMers — have been scrambling finding a solution for them.
“The Supreme Court’s action shows that rescinding DACA was not only legally questionable but also unjust and cruel. But only Congress can provide the permanent solution our [DREAMers] need and deserve,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Twitter on Monday, February 26.
Congress has tried and failed to come up with a solution for several months, but Monday’s ruling also gives it more time to come up with a legislative compromise for DREAMers.
After the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday, the White House said, “The DACA program — which provides work permits and myriad government benefits to illegal immigrants en masse — is clearly unlawful. The district judge’s decision to unilaterally re-impose a program that Congress had explicitly and repeatedly rejected is a usurpation of legislative authority… We look forward to having this case expeditiously heard by the appeals court and, if necessary, the Supreme Court, where we fully expect to prevail.”
Though the White House has maintained that the original passage of DACA by Obama in 2012 was illegal, federal judges have deemed those claims baseless.
On Tuesday, February 13, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York was the second judge to block the administration’s termination of DACA. Garaufis called the claim that DACA was illegally passed a “plainly incorrect factual premise” and called the ending of DACA “arbitrary and capricious.” (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)