Supreme Court Pushes DACA Back to Lower Courts

February 26, 2018

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Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375

Supreme Court Pushes DACA Back to Lower Courts

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear DHS v. UC Regents, the California case that resulted in an injunction temporarily allowing recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to submit renewal applications. This pushes this critical issue back to the lower courts, where two circuits have active cases pending. In the meantime, DACA recipients can continue to apply to renew their status.

The Trump administration terminated the DACA program on September 5, 2017, upending the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and millions of families and community members. Shortly thereafter, several states and nonprofit organizations filed lawsuits challenging the termination.

 A recording of today’s call is available here.

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center:
“The Supreme Court, by denying the Trump administration’s attempt to leapfrog key parts of our judicial system, has rightly allowed our clients and others who brought legal challenges to the termination of DACA to have their day in court. This means that immigrant youth who previously had DACA can continue, for now, to apply for renewals. There is immense urgency for Congress to do the right thing on the Dream Act, and nothing about today’s announcement diminished that. While the injunction helps ensure that immigrant youth can continue to renew their DACA, Dreamers need the certainty that can only come from legislation. We will continue fighting alongside immigrant youth and allies to ensure that Dreamers have a secure future in this country — their home.”

Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General:
“The Trump administration tried to skirt the rule of law. They should look no further in the mirror if they’re concerned why they haven’t had success. This is a win for DACA recipients, a win for California and a win for the rule of law. Two federal courts have already looked closely at the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA and correctly concluded that it was unlawful. Our Dreamers are inspiring and as the son of immigrants, I’ve got their back.”

Eliana Fernandez, Plaintiff, Batalla Vidal v. DHS and member of Make the Road New York:
“I’m thrilled with today’s decision. The Department of Justice tried to go around the appeals court to attack our families, and their attempt was rejected. This means that Dreamers like me will be able to continue renewing our DACA, which provides us protection from Trump’s deportation force. As a mother, it means that I can continue to be with my two beautiful children. And I’m going to continue to fight for my family—in the courts, and by demanding a permanent solution in Congress called the Dream Act.”

Andrew Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown and Supreme Court litigator:
“The Supreme Court today refused to bend its rules for the Trump administration. That means that the two district court injunctions should remain in effect at least for the next several months while the appeals are briefed, argued, and decided in California and New York — and even longer when, as seems likely, the district courts’ well-reasoned decisions are upheld. Although the Department of Justice could ask the courts of appeals or the Supreme Court to stay the injunctions, such a request would almost certainly fail given today’s Supreme Court decision and the irreparable harm to DACA recipients that would result.”

Greisa Martinez, Policy and Advocacy Director, United We Dream:
“Today’s SCOTUS decision means that immigrant young people who have or previously had DACA will be able to renew and that gives our community some relief, but it does not give us permanent protections from the bullies that have been coming after us and our community.

“Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department are the bullies. Their goal is to make sure not one more young immigrant is protected with DACA and to pass a mass deportation plan that must be stopped. That’s what our community is fighting against — attacks on immigrant youth and community members as well as people of color by the anti-immigrant bullies in the Trump administration.

“We are grateful that immigrant young people who have had DACA will have more time to renew. But most immigrant youth are not protected, and we need permanent legislative protection that does not go after our families or communities, like the Dream Act.”