A bit of good news for some Dreamers, but a real solution is needed
Dreamers, whose lives have been turned upside down in the past few months, received a small amount of good news on Monday. That’s when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to speed up the legal fight over ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The notice came just one week before the March 5th deadline that President Trump previously announced would signal the end of DACA unless Congress acted.
What does this mean for Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. as children? For now, at least, it means that DACA recipients can continue to file to renew their protected status beyond the March 5th deadline. This is a relief for many. Unfortunately, no new DACA applications will be accepted, leaving hundreds of thousands of other Dreamers out of luck.
The Supreme Court’s announcement also means that the legal challenges will continue in the courts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will review the case, in which a California judge ruled in January that the Trump administration wrongly ended DACA (the Department of Justice appealed that ruling and asked the Supreme Court to jump ahead of the appeals court to take up the case; the Supreme Court declined on Monday). A similar ruling against the Trump administration by a judge in New York will move to another appeals court. If either of those courts rules against the Trump administration, the Department of Justice could still appeal to the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit Court is expected to hand down a ruling this summer, meaning that the Supreme Court could potentially take up the case when it reconvenes in the fall.
This bit of good news is tempered, however, as allowing these cases to move through the courts only provides temporary relief to DACA recipients. Without legislation, and with continued attacks against them, their lives and livelihoods – including their jobs, schooling, and security – remain in limbo. As the National Immigration Law Center said in a statement,
“Immigrant youth need a permanent legislative solution NOW that does not attack our families. We as a community cannot wait until the courts make a ruling. This fight affects every aspect of our lives… Immigrant youth cannot wait in limbo as institutions of power decide our fate, so we will continue fighting nationally for the Dream Act and winning local victories that protect our undocumented families and communities without harming people.”
and other advocates are planning a march in Washington, D.C. on March 5th to demand Congress protect Dreamers by passing a clean Dream Act – a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would provide a pathway to permanent residency and eventual citizenship. You can find more information about the Dream Act, applying for DACA renewals, and upcoming events near you from our partners the National Immigration Law Center and UnidosUS.