Wednesday, September 05, 2018

DACA Can Still Be Renewed

U.S. District Court in Texas Denies Texas Request to Stop DACA Renewals


AUGUST 31, 2018
On August 31, 2018, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an opinion and order rejecting Texas and nine other states’ request that the court temporarily halt Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals.
In Texas v. Nielsen, Texas and the other states challenged the lawfulness of the DACA program itself. New Jersey and 22 DACA recipients represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) intervened to defend the DACA program. Judge Hanen is the same judge who previously halted the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded DACA programs in 2015.
Separately, cases that were brought in U.S. district courts in California, New York, Maryland, and DC have challenged the lawfulness of the rescission of the DACA program. These cases have resulted in three injunctions requiring the government to continue accepting DACA renewal applications.

What does the order issued on August 31 say?

In deciding not to halt the DACA program while the case winds its way through the court process, Judge Hanen addressed several issues. He found that Texas and other states were likely to succeed in their argument that DACA was created unlawfully. Nevertheless, he ultimately decided not to halt the DACA program now because he found that Texas and other states delayed challenging the DACA program for years — the program has been in place since 2012 — and he recognized that halting the program would immediately harm DACA recipients, who would lose their protection from being deported and their employment eligibility.
The opinion reasons that the injunctions issued by other courts requiring the government to continue accepting DACA renewals are intended to maintain the status quo and that suddenly halting the program would upset it. Over the last six years, DACA recipients have come to rely on the benefits of the DACA program. In Judge Hanen’s words, “the egg has been scrambled” and “[t]o try to put it back in the shell with only a preliminary injunction record, and perhaps at a great risk to many, does not make sense nor serve the best interests of this country.”
Judge Hanen also certified his opinion for appeal, and Texas and other states are likely to appeal the decision. An appeal would go first to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, then possibly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bottom line: USCIS is still accepting and processing DACA renewal applications

As a result of the nationwide injunctions issued in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of California, the Eastern District of New York, and the District of Columbia, along with the refusal by the court in the Southern District of Texas to halt the program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still required to accept, and is currently processing, DACA renewal applications from people who have previously received deferred action and work permits through DACA.
For more information on how you can apply for DACA renewal, see our Frequently Asked Questions: USCIS Is Accepting DACA Renewal Applications.

The July 26 deadline for reunification of all children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border has come and gone. Once again the Trump administration has shown its willingness—nay, eagerness—to sow discord and disruption in the fabric of daily life with utter disregard for real life and death consequences.
Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202)-224-3121, and they will connect you to your Senators and Representative. Ask to speak to (or leave a voicemail for) the staffer working on Immigration issues. Say you’re their constituent and you expect them to cosponsor and work to pass legislation to abolish ICE (the Immigration Control Enforcement agency), end Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policyand, enact humane, fair, and effective immigration policies.

Tell Congress: Pass DACA, Abolish ICE, End Deportations

Last week only 14 immigrant children were reunited with their parents, bringing the total number of forcibly separated children still in government custody to 497, including 22 children under age 5, some of whose parents were deported without them. The appalling lack of progress on family reunification is exacerbated by the government’s sloppy record-keeping and rush to deport parents without their children.
Let’s be very clear—these separations are emotionally traumatic and can result in long-term psychological damage to the separated children as well as their parents. An immigrant father committed suicide in detention after being forcibly separated from his family. In August an 18-month-old infant died of a respiratory infection contracted and inadequately treated while in Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, according to a lawsuit filed by her grieving mother.

A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to resume the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—the administration is resisting the order. Asylum requests based on domestic and gang violence continue to be denied. Immigrants who join the military with the expectation of an expedited citizenship path at the conclusion of their service are being terminated without an opportunity to apply for citizenship. Now the Trump administration is revoking passports of U.S. citizens born near the southern border if their mothers used midwife services rather than hospitals.

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