Litigation Related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

For information about U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Jan. 13, 2018, announcement that it is accepting DACA renewal applications, see our FAQ: USCIS Is Accepting DACA Renewal Applications, first posted Jan. 14, 2018.

Litigation Related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Last updated MAY 8, 2019*

On Sep. 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it was terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was created during President Obama’s administration. Under the terms of the DACA termination, everyone who had filed a first-time or a renewal application for DACA as of Sep. 5, 2017, would continue to have their applications processed. And anyone with a grant of DACA expiring between Sep. 5, 2017, and Mar. 5, 2018, could apply for a two-year renewal of their DACA. Originally, the deadline to submit renewal applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was October 5, 2017. No other DACA applications were to be accepted.

More than ten cases were filed challenging the Trump administration’s termination of DACA. Due to three court orders — in Regents of the University of California, et al. v. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, and NAACP v. TrumpUSCIS continues to accept DACA renewal applications. Under these injunctions, anyone who has had DACA in the past may apply, although those whose DACA expired on or before Sep. 4, 2016, must file as if they were applying for the first time. A person who’s had DACA may now apply to renew it regardless of when their DACA expired and even if their application was previously rejected for not meeting the Oct. 5, 2017 deadline. For information on the orders and the application process, see NILC’s Frequently Asked Questions: USCIS Is Accepting DACA Renewal Applications and Home Is Here’s DACA Renewals and the Supreme Court: What You Need to Know.

On June 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear three of the cases challenging the DACA termination: Regents of the University of California, Batalla Vidal, and NAACP. The Court heard oral argument on November 12, 2019. Its decision in these cases, regarding whether the government’s decision to end DACA was unlawful, is expected by the end of the Court’s 2019 term, which is expected to conclude by the end of June 2020. The injunctions allowing for renewals remain in place while the Court reviews the cases. Thus, individuals who currently have or previously had DACA can continue to apply to renew their DACA.

The two tables in this publication provide information only about the cases with the most traction as of its publication date. The tables were created for easy reference and are not intended to be comprehensive.

Table 1 includes cases challenging the termination of DACA on Sep. 5, 2017. The plaintiffs in these cases brought claims primarily under the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process and Equal Protection clauses; some brought claims of estoppel. NILC is counsel only in the Batalla Vidal v. Wolf case. For further information about the other cases described in Table 1, you may want to contact the entities involved in them (listed in the table) or read the complaints to which the table hyperlinks.

Table 2 includes the single case challenging the legality of DACA itself, which Texas and six other states filed on May 1, 2018.

To download the tables, click on the PDF icon, above.

* Table 1 was previously published separately under the title “Cases Challenging the Termination of the DACA Program.” When Table 2 was added, the title was changed to “Litigation Related to the DACA Program.” As of the July 3, 2019, edition, this publication’s title is “Litigation Related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).”