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An important immigration law update for DREAMers

Posted on February 28, 2018 in Immigration

Immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children can continue to renew their status under DACA – for now.

That is the result from the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent refusal to decide a case involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly known as DACA.

DACA overview

DACA protects immigrants from deportation. It also provides a work permit. People here under DACA must renew their status every two years. However, DACA is not currently a way to get U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (a green card).

About 700,000 people are in the U.S. under the DACA program.

President Trump looking to end DACA

President Trump revoked DACA in September of 2017, with the goal of phasing out DACA protection this March. However, several courts have ordered that DACA must remain in place while legal challenges are sorted out.

More legal battles ahead

Just because the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, however, does not mean the fight is over. The Trump administration was trying to get a quick resolution by going directly to the Supreme Court. President Trump did this because the case is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a court in which the Trump administration has not done well.

The Supreme Court did not decide on any legal matters. Instead, it merely said that the Trump administration could not bypass the court of appeals. The Supreme Court could still hear the case, and may do so if it disagrees with the 9th Circuit’s decision.

What does this mean for DREAMers?

There is still a lot of uncertainty for people here under the DACA program. The good news for DREAMers is that the program will continue in the near future. DREAMers can still get a two-year renewal. The bad news is that the DACA program could still end. Congress has failed to pass any laws regarding DREAMers. For now, there is no path to citizenship.

Meanwhile, dreamers who are nearing the end of their two-year DACA permits should speak with an immigration lawyer to discuss their situation and legal options.