Must “Dreamers” begin to leave the U.S. once DACA expires on March 5, 2018?

By February 16, 2018Uncategorized

Highly doubtful. Undocumented immigrants who qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will likely be able to legally remain in the U.S. until June 2018 at the earliest.

Last September, President Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin denying renewal of DACA permits on March 5, 2018. DACA protects young undocumented immigrants (“Dreamers”) who came to the US as children from deportation.  On Sept 8, the University of California sued DHS on behalf of approximately 4,000 Dreamer students, asserting that administrative procedures were improperly followed.  On January 10, 2018, California Federal District Judge William Alsup temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and ordered the administration to resume receiving DACA renewal applications.  On January 18, President Trump appealed Judge Alsup’s ruling directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the traditional appeals route through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Today, the Supreme Court is deciding whether to take up the President’s appeal.  If the Supreme Court grants certiori and accepts the case, then the earliest rulings would come down this June.  If the Supreme Court declines to the hear the case, President Trump’s appeal would have to be heard first by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Since the lower court’s ruling blocking the President’s order will stand in either case, the earliest date for termination of DACA has been extended at least until June 2018.

DACA Background
President Barack Obama’s DACA executive action allowed undocumented immigrants under the age of 16 who came to the US to apply for protection from deportation. Those individuals must then pass a background check in order to get two-year renewal permits to study and work in the U.S.

Approximately 700,000 Dreamers were actively protected by DACA last September, when the Trump administration ordered the DACA program to end.  Applicants must have arrived in the US before 16 years of age and residing in the US since June 15, 2007 in order to be eligible.  When the DHS enacted the DACA policy in 2012, participants cannot have been older than 30.

For more information, contact Banerjee & Associates