A federal court declared an important ruling for DACA-DREAMers last night. San Francisco-based judge William Alsup ordered the administration to (temporarly) continue with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was scheduled to be phased off by March.
The judge recognized that Trump’s decision was arbitrary and without a valid reason. Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund denounced and opposed this heartless action, and proudly supports DACA-DREAMers’ efforts to integrate completely into life in the U.S.
This is what the ruling means:
1. The federal government must continue with the program. This applies to all DACA beneficiaries in all states in the U.S. (so there are not rogue states like Arizona trying to limit the judge’s decision).
2. USCIS will continue to receive renewals (which were terminated October 5, 2017). DACA-DREAMers must be aware that yesterday’s decision could be halted by a higher court.
3. The decision does not mandate the acceptance of new applications. Unfortunately, it does not allow younger DREAMers or people who have never applied to be considered for the DACA program.
4. The judge stated the decision to phase off DACA “was presented on a false legal premise.”
5. This is not a permanent decision. The Trump administration will likely appeal, and a reversal may be ruled by a higher court. The litigation may take years.
This has not been the only ruling regarding the DACA phase-off.
At the very end of 2017, a Second Circuit Court of Appeals made a favorable ruling for DACA-DREAMers, stating that the government could not hide documents regarding its decision to phase off DACA. This is important because lawyers supporting immigrant youth may be able to claim the decision to end DACA was made with “animus” – intention to hurt DACA recipients not based on any valid argument.
Yesterday was an interesting day for immigrant youth. Early in the day, a bipartisan meeting that included Trump stated that they will work on a solution for DREAMers and possibly immigration reform. However, they agreed to add “border security” items to the bill. Many legal and political observers noted that border security means very different things for Democrats and Republicans. They predict that the GOP will try to add extreme spending for construction of the border wall (in the billions of dollars), the dismantling of some immigration staples such as claiming some family members for legalization, and the end of the visa lottery, for example.
The whole issue of the cancellation of DACA and the crafting of a bipartisan bill under a GOP-dominated White House and Congress seems more like highjacking and blackmail.
Trump, in his Trumpian fashion, complained about the San Francisco court’s decision, tweeting: “It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA)… almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.”
In the meantime, hundreds of DACA-DREAMers are gathering in Washington, D.C., pushing for a permanent solution that does not include extreme anti-immigrant measures. Stay tuned for the latest developments.
UPDATE at 4:36 PM: As the end of the working day, there has not been any updated process posted by USCIS regarding the reinstatement of the DACA program.