This morning, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program in September 2017. PLC is excited and hopeful the ruling in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vs. Regents of the University of California, et al, will restore the DACA program and continue to protect 700,000 Americans.
The Court found the agency did not adequately explain its reasons for ending DACA and did not consider all the aspects of the program before ending it. Specifically, DHS stated they were ending the program because the Attorney General believed it unlawfully created a new system of benefits (including work authorization), but DHS failed to consider the other main aspect of the program — the temporary protection it provides from deportation. The Court also found that it was “arbitrary and capricious” for DHS to throw out the whole program just because the Attorney General had decided one aspect of the program was unlawful.
In this decision, the Court affirmed the important principle that any government agency is accountable to the public, and must weigh the costs and benefits of a major action in a rational way before taking that action.
What happens now?
We must wait to see how DHS will respond to the Court’s decision. At this time, we do not know if or when they will reopen the DACA program for new applicants. Instead of reopening DACA, DHS could respond to the Court decision by trying to end DACA a second time, or take some other action in between.
Unless DHS tries to end DACA again, DHS should continue to adjudicate DACA renewal applications normally.
What will PLC do?
PLC has served nearly 400 DACA clients since the program began and will continue to stand with DREAMers. We will provide legal consultations to DACA recipients, assist in filing DACA renewal applications, and — as soon as DHS announces this is possible — assist in filing new DACA applications and/or advance parole requests.
We will also continue to seek financial funds to help cover the filing fee costs for our low-income clients, including any new funds that the State of California might make available. You can contribute to our DREAMers Fund by clicking the button below.
To request an appointment with our Immigration Unit, please call and leave a message at (714) 541-1010, extension 332.