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DACA News: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling

What Is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program aims to protect people who entered the U.S. unlawfully as children; these people are known as DREAMers. While DACA does not allow a person legal status or citizenship, DACA does allow for them to apply for a work permit, social security number, and driver’s license. DACA recipients are also protected from deportation and can apply for certain federal benefits.

President Barack Obama initially established DACA in 2012, and while he tried to expand the program, the expansion was prevented by an earlier Fifth Circuit Court decision. During his tenure in office, President Donald Trump tried to rescind DAA because of that decision, but the Supreme Court ruled that the administration did not have sufficient evidence or reasoning to end DACA in adherence with the Administrative Procedures Act. However, more issues concerning the fate of DACA ensued.

Fifth Circuit Court Invalidates DACA But the Program Continues

On October 5th, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision concerning whether the July 2021 lower court ruling about DACA was correct. The Fifth Circuit Court ruled that the DACA program violates U.S. immigration law. However, the court did not order the Biden administration to terminate the DACA program or stop processing renewal applications. The court also said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can accept new DACA applications but cannot make decisions about them.

While the court has ruled that the memorandum President Obama used to implement DACA was unlawful, the court also recognizes that DHS did adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act when they issued regulations that codify DACA in August 2022. The case is therefore being remanded back to Judge Hanen who issued the lower court ruling in 2021. Until Judge Hanen makes a ruling concerning the new regulatory actions from DHS, the Biden administration cannot seek further review from the Fifth Circuit Court.

Current DACA recipients may be worried about the implications of the Fifth Circuit Court ruling. It is important that we reiterate that recipients are still protected from deportation and can continue to work. However, DACA recipients and applicants should continue to monitor news and updates, though, as Judge Hanen may still strike down the program. This case may also make its way back to the Supreme Court.

Schedule a free initial consultation with the immigration attorneys at Hubbs Law Firm today. We handle DACA immigration cases and can help you understand your DACA eligibility as well as how current court decisions impact DACA as a whole. Call (305) 570-4802 to get started on your case.

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