On Saturday, November 14, 2020 a federal official determined that Chad Wolf, Chief of Homeland Security, has not been acting lawfully when he signed rules limiting applications and renewals of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hence all of Wolf’s rulings were deemed invalid. Karen Tumlin, an attorney in the case and Director of the Los Angeles-based Justice Action Center said, “This is really a hopeful day for a lot of young people across the country.” and also added that, “The effort in Wolf’s memo to gut the DACA program is overturned.” The ruling originally applied to more than one million people, including more recent applicants and those seeking two-year renewals for protection under DACA.
DACA is a 2012 program started by former President Barack Obama. DACA has enabled nearly 700,000 qualifying young people to legally work, go to college, get health insurance, and a driver’s license without the threat of deportation. DACA recipients are young adults who were brought to the United States as children by their parents without legal documentation.
The preservation of DACA has been an ongoing source of contention within the outgoing administration. As recently as March 2020, lawyers that represented the Dreamers (the term has been used to describe young undocumented immigrants) asked Justices to take the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration when deciding whether to bless the Trump administration’s decision to unwind DACA. “DACA recipients are essential to protecting communities across the country endangered by COVID-19,” the lawyers told the Supreme Court. “Termination of DACA during this national emergency would be catastrophic.”
In June 2020, the Supreme Court blocked President Trump’s efforts to dissolve the DACA program. On July 28, 2020 Chris Wolf suspended all new applications for DACA pending a review and issued a memo stating that new applications would not be accepted, and renewals would be limited to one year instead of the normal two year. The memo was issued more than a month after the Supreme Court ruled against efforts by the Trump administration to end DACA.
Hence this latest ruling is a true victory for the hundreds and thousands of DACA recipients! The Supreme Court delivered a blow to President Trump’s immigration agenda, ruling the administration’s attempt to dismantle an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation was unlawful. With the 5-4 ruling, the high court provided a lifeline to nearly 700,000 immigrants whose future in the United States hung in the balance.
The acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Chad Wolf said who oversaw the program, said in a statement “the court’s decision deprives DACA recipients of closure and finality surrounding their status here in the U.S. The DACA program was created out of thin air and implemented illegally.” President-elect Joe Biden plans to reinstate DACA and is expected to use Executive Orders to reverse Trump’s other immigration actions.
In matters concerning the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Law, The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux is here to soothe your concerns and answer your immigration-related questions. You can depend on us to keep ahead of developments in the field of immigration law and keep you informed.