Impact of Supreme Court’s DACA Decision

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Administration’s attempt to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The majority opinion held that the DHS’s 2017 action to rescind DACA violated the Administrative Procedures Act as an arbitrary and capricious final agency action that failed to provide a reasoned explanation. The decision leaves open the possibility that the DHS may still rescind DACA. The Court clarified that it was not deciding whether DACA or its rescission are “sound policies.”

Based on this decision, USCIS must now continue to process DACA renewals or initial requests by those whose DACA expired more than one year ago or was terminated earlier.

To comply with the Supreme Court’s decision, USCIS must publish guidance on initial DACA applications and advance parole requests for those with DACA to travel abroad.

Before submitting new, initial DACA applications, applicants need to consider the possibility that:

  • DHS may still try to rescind DACA by issuing a new memorandum.
  • USCIS officers will reject new, initial applications, or accept and deny them if filed before guidance is issued.
  • Their applications will be delayed because of current processing delays and the budget shortfall.

Those with DACA may decide to wait before applying for advance parole, considering Covid-19 related travel restrictions and the uncertainty regarding DHS plans.

Please contact a D&G lawyer with questions about DACA.