The Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday diving new life to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In this post, I will discuss three things that you should know about the decision. The case is the Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of Uni. of California.
One important note here is that all parties agreed that the President can rescind DACA. However, all litigants disagreed with the way the government rescinded the program. The decision did not rule on the legality of the program. The decision was very narrow. The main issues before the court were 1) whether the lower courts’ decisions were reviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act, 2) whether the recession was arbitrary and capricious and 3) whether plaintiffs have stated an equal protection claim.
There were three lower court cases. The court consolidated the appeals.
In the decision, the court ruled that the claims were reviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act. The court reasoned that since DACA decisions are not merely a non-enforcement policy, the claims are covered under the Administrative procedures Act.
As to whether the recession decision was arbitrary, the court used the initial rationalization in the first rescission memorandum. The government rescinded the program because the program conferred benefits in violation of the INA and that its legality was questionable. The court reasoned that the Department of Homeland Security cannot change its mind regarding the legality of the program under the unreasoned rationale. The court added that the decision failed to consider the reliance of DACA recipients on that program. The court ruled that since DACA recipients relied on the memorandum establishing the program. Since the Secretary did not take reliance into account, the court ruled that the decision was arbitrary and capricious.
The above discussion shows that there were some government missteps in revoking DACA. That is good news for now.
However, the decision does not mean that the Trump Administration can not rescind the program; it merely means that they should take the right steps for such recission. In fact, the court gave the administration a roadmap on the steps that should be taken for such recission.
The last thing I will discuss is the next steps for DACA recipients. DACA recipients should file their renewal application as soon as possible. At the very least, this will protect them from removal.
I have discussed several other options for DACA recipients in this post. Some of our clients who are under DACA qualify for several forms of relief. You should consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to see if you qualify.
Call us at 1(888)963-7326 to discuss your options.