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The Supreme Court Declines to Hear DACA Case – At Least For Now

Jan28
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The Supreme Court Declines to Hear DACA Case – At Least For Now

President Donald Trump’s expectations that the Supreme Court would hand him a win in talks over the government shutdown have been dashed. On Tuesday, January 22, the Justices took no action Tuesday on a case before them concerning the legality of the administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The inaction effectively allows current DACA recipients to continue to renew their protections every two years. The Supreme Court’s schedule is now full for the year, making it unlikely that the justices will be able to review the matter this term, pushing off a decision until possibly 2020.

Trump projected confidence that the court would take up the matter quickly and deliver him a win. At least three times since the shutdown began last month, Trump said a quick ruling on DACA would force Democrats to strike a deal. On Friday, January 25, Trump agreed to re-open the government without funding for his wall.

The current litigation before the Supreme Court stems from a memo dated September 5, 2017, that announced that the program would be ended. The administration’s reasoning, according to the memo, was a legal determination made by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that DACA was an “unconstitutional exercise” of executive branch authority. The rescission of DACA in 2017 prompted a number of lawsuits from the Regents of the University of California, a group of states led by California, as well as individual DACA recipients. The cases were consolidated, and a California district court ultimately issued an injunction at the start of 2018 that put the administration’s action on hold.

The Department of Justice then pressed an appeal to both the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and, in an unusual maneuver before an appellate ruling, the Supreme Court. The high court denied the Trump administration’s request but noted that it assumed the 9th Circuit would “proceed expeditiously.” On Nov. 8, 2018, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of appeals affirmed the lower court’s order keeping DACA in place. The DACA case is Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, No. 18-587.

If you have DACA or your DACA is expired and you want to renew, please contact our office for a consultation. In general, we encourage those clients who are eligible to renew DACA, to do so. However, it is important to speak to an immigration attorney because each case is different and there are legal risks and benefits involved. To schedule an appointment with an attorney, please call our office.

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