Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is one of the most important immigration policies in the country. It serves as a protection for people who, while having spent most of their lives in this country, lack the legal security of citizenship.
As an executive program, DACA’s continued status and implementation were not codified in law and lacked durability. A recent court decision has overturned the DACA program, meaning that there will be no more approved DACA recipients in the future.
Why was DACA overturned?
The DACA program weathered many legal threats over the last five years and a great deal of vocal opposition. In the most significant previous case, the Supreme Court upheld DACA 5-4 because the executive branch created the program as the law required. In this most recent case, the federal judge found that DACA was invalid, taking the view that the DACA program should be a legislative action rather than an executive action.
Why hasn’t there been a legislative DACA?
As DACA was a popular program, it does beg the question of why there hasn’t been a legislative attempt to protect people brought to this country as children. However, crafting a law to change how the US looks at young immigrant children is a fraught proposition. Such a legislative effort faces opposition in Congress no matter how well it is written.
What will happen to DACA recipients?
Right now, DACA recipients, those who rely on deferred action, are fine. While the government will no longer accept new applications, the current protections will remain in place. This is a concerning moment, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope. Success in immigration is dependent on perseverance. If you need help securing protected status, there may be a way to get it.