Two major court decisions involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were announced this week. First, the U.S. Supreme Court put off an appeal of a federal court order. That order, a nationwide injunction, ordered the federal government not to shut down DACA on Monday, March 5, as had previously been announced. Second, another federal judge ordered all federal immigration enforcement authorities to stop revoking Dreamers' DACA protections or deporting them based on allegations of minor criminal activity.
Supreme Court refuses to hear untimely appeal, leaves DACA order in place
In the first case, a federal district judge had ordered the federal government to maintain the status quo in regards to the DACA program. Per his order, the program will not shut down on March 5. Also, the Department of Homeland Security is required to process DACA renewals on the same terms as before, although it is not required to accept any new DACA applications.
The Trump administration, which announced in September that it planned to shut down the program unless Congress passed it into law, had sought to appeal the judge's order directly to the Supreme Court. They wished to bypass the usual appellate path, which would have taken the case first to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to skip the 9th Circuit review and left the district judge's order in place. Therefore, the DACA program will continue while the administration appeals in the traditional way.
"It is assumed that the court of appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case," the high court said.
Federal district judge orders a halt to sudden immigration actions against Dreamers
According to the ACLU, the Department of Homeland Security, the USCIS, ICE, and Customs and Border Protection agents have been stripping Dreamers of their DACA protections and deporting them without notice. They often base these actions on allegations of minor criminal activity. DACA recipients must maintain a clear criminal record.
In this case, a Dreamer was suddenly arrested and accused of smuggling a family into the United States. The man, 23, has successfully maintained his DACA status since 2012 and had no criminal record. Although he was accused, no charges were filed. Nevertheless, the government stripped him of his DACA protections based merely upon a summons having been issued to him.
The government says it has the right to automatically terminate DACA whenever it issues a court summons.
The ACLU says it has 22 clients who have been terminated from DACA without notice or due process, without a chance to respond, and in violation of the government's own rules. The judge issued a nationwide injunction against further DACA terminations or associated deportations.