Following January’s ruling by Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, a second federal court has issued a nationwide injunction ordering the government to keep DACA in place. Judge Nicolas G. Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn, New York ruled that the rescission of DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and that the equities and reliance interests favored an injunction.
In the meantime, Congress has not been able to make any progress on DACA or any other immigration reforms. The Senate’s planned debate ended this week with at least four plans being rejected including the bi-partisan bill introduced by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) that essentially traded relief for the “Dreamers” for border security funding and the plan sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other Republicans that followed President Donald Trump’s “four pillar” approach.
Although Congress has been operating as if President Trump’s March 5th deadline for providing relief to the “Dreamers” is operative, the federal court orders would appear to have alleviated some of that pressure. Although the actual deadline is unknown, individuals who are already beneficiaries of DACA will be able to continue to apply for renewals at least until either of the federal cases reaches its conclusion. Even though the Trump Administration plans to vehemently defend the DACA rescission and hopes to expedite the litigation process, and, as of this writing, the Supreme Court reportedly is having a “closed-door” meeting regarding whether to expedite review of Judge Alsup’s decision, it may be months before either of these cases comes to a conclusion.
We will continue to follow DACA developments and provide updates as events warrant.