DACA Deadline Squashed; Dreamers' Uncertainty Remains

March 1, 2018

By Carrie Warick, Director of Policy and Advocacy 

In September, the Trump Administration announced that it would phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by March 5, 2018. This created a crisis in the immigrant community, as well as for many NCAN members and their students, as Congress became responsible for passing legislation that would allow individuals brought here illegally as children to have a legal immigration process. Congress has failed to act, but the March 5 deadline was deemed moot after courts in both California and New York ruled that nationwide DACA renewal applications must be allowed (new applications are, unfortunately, still not being accepted).

United We Dream subsequently wrote a blog post for Dreamers recommending that anyone who previously had DACA or still has DACA status apply for a renewal if they are eligible. Additionally, the National Immigration Law Center reports that renewal applications are indeed being approved. Get Schooled is also offering resources for undocumented students and their supporters as part of its #WeAreTheDream campaign, including scholarship information and text message-based support, and grants for schools, colleges and community-based organizations. Undocumented youth and allies are also holding rallies in Washington for a permanent solution on March 4 and March 5.

For those already in the program, this action by the courts prolongs their protections, but does not remove the uncertainly. Individuals who would qualify for protections under the Dream Act or other legislation that expands the universe of eligible individuals must continue to wait. 

The two lawsuits will now move through the appellate courts and could eventually end up at the Supreme Court. However, on Monday, the nation’s highest court announced that it would not review the case in an expedited manner. This unanimous decision squashed the Trump Administration’s ability to end DACA renewals on March 5, but also may alleviate the pressure on Congress to address the future of Dreamers immediately, particularly following failed attempts last month, a new focus on gun violence, and another impending funding deadline.

NCAN will continue to update members on this situation and encourages members to continue to provide support for your students who have DACA status or family members in the DACA program. While judicial action has prolonged the crisis point originally scheduled for Monday, resolution for our Dreamers remains uncertain.

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