Supreme Court saves DACA, at least for a while

At the Sanchez Law Group in Arizona, we sympathize and empathize with our undocumented immigrant friends such as you who face uncertain times. We understand that our government has placed you in a position of constant worry that ICE officials could arrest you anytime and anywhere, leaving you vulnerable to deportation. 

If you are a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program enrollee, however, you will be glad to know that the Supreme Court saved DACA from expiring. It did so despite Congress’ failure to reach resolution on the way in which DACA could be extended beyond its scheduled expiration date in March.

California lawsuit

As reported by USA Today, the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the DACA brouhaha when our neighboring state California sued the Department of Justice in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. One of their main requests was that the Court extend DACA. The Court did so. Not surprisingly, however, the Department of Justice appealed that decision, taking the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. They met with failure, however, when SCOTUS refused to hear the case on Feb. 26, 2018.

SCOTUS did not address the underlying issue of DACA’s future in its denial. Rather, it merely said that the DOJ must go through the proper judicial channels instead of coming directly to the Supreme Court. Thus the DOJ can, and undoubtedly will, mount a proper appeal. Given the slowness with which cases usually wend their way to the Supreme Court, however, SCOTUS likely will not see this case again until well after its new term begins in October. In the meantime, the 9th Circuit ruling stands and DACA remains in effect.

Uncertain future

While DACA and you therefore are safe for the foreseeable future, the ultimate viability of this program is uncertain. There is little reason to believe that Congress will come to an agreement on it, and trying to predict how SCOTUS will decide any given case that comes before it is dicey at best.

A further possibly complicating factor is that New York’s 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard a similar case and likewise ruled against the administration’s attempts to let DACA die a “natural” death by expiration. Whether or not SCOTUS will consolidate the two DACA cases and hear them together is anyone’s guess.

Nevertheless, you and DACA’s other 700,000 enrollees, plus the 3.6 million DREAMers, are reasonably safe for at least the next 8-10 months. With DACA still the law of the land, it is unlikely that ICE will focus its deportation zeal on you.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page on our website. 


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