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The Supreme Court Declining to Hear DACA Case Before Lower Court Reviews


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that requires the government to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program open for renewals.

The protections were due to start phasing out in March under the Republican president’s action, announced in September.

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, roughly 700,000 young adult, mostly Hispanics, are protected from deportation and given work permits for two-year periods, after which they must re-apply. Congress so far has failed to pass legislation to address the fate of the “Dreamers,” including a potential path to citizenship.

Under lower court orders that remain in effect, the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept applications from the roughly 700,000 young people who are currently enrolled in the program, known as DACA, as well as individuals whose DACA grant has expired.

The lower court’s decision does not allow Dreamers to apply for DACA if they have never before applied for the initiative, including Dreamers who are aging into eligibility, couldn’t afford the filing fees, or are newly eligible for the initiative. These Dreamers remain at risk of deportation, as do the DACA recipients whose protections have expired while they wait for USCIS to process their renewal applications.

While Monday’s denial gives Dreamers a breath of relief while the case works its way through lower courts, Congress must still act immediately to pass the Dream Act.

Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and move forward on the Dream Act now. Dreamers across the country deserve the certainty that only permanent legislative protections can bring.DACA allows children of undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, to remain here if they were under 16 when their parents brought them to the U.S. and if they arrived by 2007.

Monday’s action by the Supreme Court leaves the DACA challenge pending, expected to be taken up by the 2nd and 9th Circuit courts.

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