A federal district court judge in California has issued a decision blocking President Trump’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The DACA program was created by President Obama and provided work permits for thousands of noncitizens who entered the US illegally as children. In his decision which was issued on January 9, 2018, US District Court Judge William Aslup ordered the government to resume accepting renewal applications for DACA recipients (Dreamers) who were prevented from doing so due to the program’s termination on October 5, 2017.
Unless a higher court overturns the decision, this means that those recipients of DACA who could not renew because of the President’s decision terminating the program on October 5, 2017, can now submit their renewal applications. The federal judge’s decision does not permit the filing of new applications for DACA – it only applies to renewal applications.
The judge’s decision was issued as Congress works towards resolving the fate of the Dreamers. On the same day as the decision was issued, President Trump met with 20 members of Congress at the White House to discuss DACA and immigration reform generally. Discussions did not result in any immediate agreement. However, Republican and Democratic leaders have agreed to meet shortly to discuss a timeline for proposed legislation dealing with both. President Trump has appeared to struggle with the issue of DACA. On a number of occasions, he has stated that Dreamers should not be deported. At the same time, he faces stiff opposition from conservative Republicans who are opposed to any perceived amnesty for this group.
DACA recipients, both current and terminated, are encouraged to speak with an immigration attorney to determine if there are other options for seeking immigration status.