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In a blow to the Trump Administration, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5 – 4 decision, ruled last Thursday (6/18/2020) that the Trump Administration’s reasons for attempting to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were legally inadequate. This positively affects the approximately 700,000 “Dreamers” who currently benefit from DACA by, for now, ensuring that the program will not suddenly end. 

The DACA program, an executive order instituted under President Obama on June 15, 2012, shields foreign nationals from deportation and grants work authorization if they meet certain requirements listed below. 

Chief Justice Roberts joined the Court’s four more liberal members in ruling that the Trump Administration failed to comply “with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action” in attempting to terminate DACA. In fact, the Court found the government’s decision to terminate DACA “arbitrary and capricious.” 

DACA REQUIRES PROGRAM MEMBERS TO:

  • BE UNDER THE AGE OF 31 AS OF JUNE 15, 2012
  • HAVE COME TO THE U.S. PRIOR TO 16TH BIRTHDAY
  • HAVE CONTINUOUSLY RESIDED IN THE U.S. SINCE JUNE 15, 2007 UP TO THE PRESENT TIME
  • HAVE BEEN PHYSICALLY PRESENT IN THE U.S. ON JUNE 15, 2012
  • HAVE NO LAWFUL STATUS ON JUNE 15, 2012
  • BE CURRENTLY IN SCHOOL, HAVE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL OR HAVE A GED CERTIFICATE, OR BE AN HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERAN
  • HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY, SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR, OR THREE OR MORE OTHER MISDEMEANORS

WHAT THIS DECISION DOES: 

  • RULES THAT THE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO “PROVIDE A REASONED EXPLANATION FOR ITS ACTION” IN ATTEMPTING TO TERMINATE DACA
  • PREVENTS THE GOVERNMENT FROM TERMINATING DACA AT THIS TIME
  • EXTENDS DACA INDEFINITELY

WHAT THIS DECISION DOES NOT DO:

  • MAKES DACA PERMANENT
  • PREVENTS THE GOVERNMENT FROM AGAIN ATTEMPTING TO TERMINATE DACA ON A MORE LEGALLY ADEQUATE BASIS
  • MAKES CHANGES TO DACA OR PROVIDE PROCEDURES FOR FUTURE APPLICATIONS TO THE PROGRAM

This decision is a bright spot in these otherwise bleak times of the Trump Administration’s xenophobic efforts to restrict immigration and punish foreign nationals, both those who are legal and those lacking authorization, for their desire to live, raise families, and work in the United States. If you or a family member or friend wish to explore your immigration options generally or in light of this recent decision, please contact us. We are open and scheduling consultations – in person, by video, or by phone. 

COME TO ANTONINI & COHEN WITH ALL YOUR IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS

The attorneys and staff at Antonini & Cohen are dedicated to assisting non-citizens achieve their American Dream. Visit us online or call us at (404) 850-9394 for assistance with any immigration issue you’re facing.

Marshall Cohen
Marshall Cohen

Marshall Cohen is one of the founding principals of Antonini & Cohen. Admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1989, he has practiced immigration law exclusively for over 30 years. Mr. Cohen practices all areas of immigration law including family and employment cases, temporary and permanent visas, naturalization, deportation defense, and federal litigation.

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