On June 18, the Supreme Court gave relief to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrived as children in the US without documentation when it ruled against the Administration’s efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
In a 5-4 decision, the Court found that the Administration’s efforts to reverse the DACA program unlawful, upholding DACA’s protections for the approximately 649,000 immigrants who qualify for the program, also known as Dreamers.
Hundreds of thousands have built their lives through DACA
DACA was created in 2012 to protect people from deportation who arrived in the United States as minors but who do not hold citizenship status. The court’s decision means that not only will Dreamers be protected from deportation, but will also remain eligible for two-year work permit renewals.
DACA doesn’t currently offer a path to citizenship, although the House of Representatives passed a bill last year that would pave a way for that opportunity. The majority of the people who are enrolled in DACA are now adults who have lived, studied, and worked in the US for the majority of their life.
For many DACA recipients, most of whom are Latino immigrants from Mexico and other regions of Latin America, it has been frightening to imagine the program abruptly ending and deportations beginning. Such an action would force them to leave the lives and communities they’ve known for decades to return to a country they’re unfamiliar with, or which offers fewer opportunities than the ones they’ve had access to in the US.
More challenges ahead
The current Administration has called decision to implement DACA “illegal,” claiming his predecessor overstepped his power. The Trump Administration has said it plans to challenge the ruling and intends to make another attempt to roll back DACA. For now, there is no clear indication of how the administration will accomplish that, and it’s likely not possible before the November 3 election.
For now, Dreamers can rest assured that they are legally protected from deportations and remain eligible for work permits. Our experienced attorneys can advocate for DACA recipients who face unlawful challenges to this protection.