DACA Litigation Updates

DACA Litigation Under Review by the Federal Court of Appeals

In November 2023 the Biden Administration appealed the U.S. District Court's September 2023 decision and the case is now under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Firth Circuit.  Dartmouth joined an amicus brief filed with the Court in support of the DACA program.  OVIS will continue to monitor the litigation and provide updates as they become available.

U.S. Federal District Court Rules Biden Administration's DACA Regulation Invalid

On September 13, 2023 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the Biden Administration's regulation seeking to preserve the DACA program violates the Administrative Procedure Act.  The regulation was published in August 2022 and was set to take effect October 31, 2022.  The Court's ruling allows the DACA program to continue for current DACA beneficiaries who can apply for renewal of DACA and DACA employment authorization, but prohibits the Immigration Service from adjudicating applications for new DACA benefits.  The statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security can be found here.

Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Texas Court DACA Decision

On October 5, 2022 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision affirming the Texas District Court's July 2021 decision that said the DACA program was unlawful.  The Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the Texas District Court for further proceedings to consider the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) DACA regulation published on August 30, 2022 and scheduled to go into effect on October 31, 2022.  The Court of Appeals also preserved the partial stay imposed by the Texas District Court, which allows DHS to continue accepting and adjudicating DACA renewal applications.  DHS is still not able to adjudicate new DACA applications.  On October 6, 2022 DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement affirming the agency's support for the DACA program and urging Congress to pass legislation that provides permanent protections. 

Texas Court Rules Against DACA Program

On July 16, 2021 the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a ruling that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedures Act with the establishment and continuation of the DACA program. The Court said that DHS can continue to accept and approve DACA renewal applications, and accept but not adjudicate initial DACA requests. OVIS will continue to monitor the litigation and provide updates as they become available.

Federal Court Ruling in NY

On December 4, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled to vacate the July 28 DHS memorandum.  The Court further ordered that Department of Homeland Security restore DACA to its pre-September 2017 terms and that the agency post on its website, within three calendar days of the court order, information about the program's restoration and the agency's acceptance of new DACA applications and applications for advance parole.  OVIS will continue to provide updates regarding the DACA program and update our resource page. 

On November 14, 2020 a federal court judge in the Southern District of New York ruled that DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf was not lawfully appointed and therefore did not have the appropriate authority to issue the July 2020 Memorandum on DACA. 

OVIS will continue to monitor this latest decision and update our website as new information becomes available. 

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds DACA Program

On Thursday, June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision upheld the DACA (Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals) Program.  The Court held that the rescission of DACA by the administration was unlawful, temporarily allowing for the continuation of the program.  We do not have details yet as to how Department of Homeland Security will proceed following the decision, including whether new DACA applications will be accepted, and if DACA recipients will be able to request Advance Parole permission to travel internationally.  OVIS will continue to monitor this situation and update our website as information becomes available. 

Prior updates related to U.S. Supreme Court litigation

On Friday, June 28, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated and agreed to hear three cases challenging the rescission of DACA. The Court heard oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.  On April 20, 2020 the Court agreed to grant the request of the National Immigration Law Center to file an additional brief describing the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the DACA decision.  The Court's decision could still be issued in late Spring or early Summer 2020.  

On June 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Administration's motion to expedite consideration of its petition in the DHS v. Casa de Maryland case. The government is appealing the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in May 2019, which found that the government's decision to rescind DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The Fourth Circuit's decision also stopped Department of Homeland Security from sharing information about DACA recipients for enforcement purposes.

On November 8, 2018 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the January 9, 2018 decision of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California ordering Department of Homeland Security to maintain the DACA program and adjudicate renewal applications for current DACA recipients.   

On August 3, 2018 the federal court for the District of Columbia ruled that the administration must fully restore the DACA program. 

On August 31, 2018 the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas denied the request for a preliminary injunction to stop the DACA program.  The case was brought by the State of Texas and several other states challenging the DACA program.  Dartmouth joined in an amicus brief filed with the Texas Court defending DACA.

The National Immigration Law Center has a helpful timeline summarizing the Texas case and other ongoing DACA litigation in the federal courts.

USCIS Resumes Processing DACA Renewals Following Federal Court Order

On January 13, 2018 USCIS posted instructions for filing DACA renewals following a January 9, 2018 federal court order. According to the USCIS website, the agency will accept renewal applications for DACA recipients whose DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016. For individuals who previously received DACA, but whose DACA expired before September 5, 2016, DACA requests can be filed as a new request instead of a renewal. USCIS is not accepting new DACA applications from individuals who have never had DACA before. The National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream have prepared a set of FAQs on DACA Renewal Applications.

On April 24, 2018 the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. issued an order vacating the White House's decision to rescind DACA, and requiring the Department of Homeland Security to accept and process both new and renewal DACA applications. The Court said the order would not go into effect for 90 days to allow Homeland Security an opportunity to "better explain its view that DACA is unlawful."

Northern District of California Federal Court Ruling on DACA

On January 9, 2018 the federal district court for the Northern District of California issued an order directing the government to partially maintain the DACA program. The decision orders the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain the DACA program nationwide, with the following exceptions: new applications "need not be processed"; advance parole applications based on DACA do not have to be continued; and the government can exercise discretion in adjudicating renewal applications. The order instructs DHS to post notice that it will resume receiving DACA renewal applications. The agency updated its webpage on January 13, 2018.

On February 13, 2018 the Federal District Court in New York issued a nationwide preliminary injunction ordering the government to maintain the DACA program pursuant to the same terms and conditions that existed before the September 5, 2017 DACA rescission memo, subject to the same limitations of the January 9, 2018 injunction issued in the California District Court case.

On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in the California case. This decision means that for now, USCIS will continue to process renewal applications under the guidelines provided by USCIS while the litigation works through the regular appeals process.