A federal appeals court is set to hear an appeal from a Texas district court case that would, if upheld, invalidate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The case has many concerned about the fate of DREAMers, who might lose their legal status if the ruling is upheld. If that happens, it could have a profound impact on the immigration system, and have further consequences on the authority of the executive branch to handle immigration matters.
What is DACA?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was put into place by President Barack Obama in August, 2012. The program would allow certain people who came to the United States as children without a legal status to apply for special legal protections. These protections would allow qualified individuals to avoid deportation, and to apply for work authorization to legally work within the United States.
What is This Case?
In 2021, a federal district court judge ruled in the case State of Texas, et al. v. United States that the DACA program was illegal and in violation of administrative regulations that require a period of review and public comment before any new regulations may be put into place. However, the judge refrained from invalidating the legal status of current DACA holders. Instead, it merely prevented new people from applying for the program, while its legal status remains in limbo.
What is at Stake?
If the lower court ruling is upheld, it could mean the potential end of the DACA program. People currently protected by DACA could lose their legal status, depriving them of their ability to legally work in the United States and potentially subjecting them to removal proceedings. In some cases, this would involve sending people back to countries they are too young to remember, and where they do not have any known relatives. Not only would it potentially upend their lives, but in some cases, it might involve sending people to countries dealing with civil unrest, oppression, famine, and other hardships.
What Should You Do?
If you or someone you love is the recipient of DACA protections, or otherwise needs assistance with their legal status, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling immigration matters. An immigration lawyer can help you to understand your legal rights, and explore your legal options to give you the best chance at obtaining and retaining legal status. The sooner you get in contact, the sooner they can get to work on your case.
For more than 40 years, the Drucker Law Firm has been providing personal and quality legal services to individuals, universities, and corporations throughout the New York City and Tri-State area. We have represented three generations of clients in personal injury cases, as well as immigration and general litigation matters. If you have a legal issue related to personal injury law, please give us a call at (718) 458-1489 to schedule a consultation or visit our contact page.