DACA Supported by Second Federal Judge While Senate Seeks Compromise

Federal Courts Continue to Side with DACA Proponents

On January 15th we reported that DACA was once again available for those seeking renewals, thanks to a Ninth Circuit decision.  Now, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has come to a similar conclusion in a separate challenge to DHS's rescission of the program.

Yesterday, federal judge Nicholas G. Garaufis issued a preliminary injunction similar in scope to that of the Ninth Circuit.  Specifically, those with DACA status prior to the rescission on September 5, 2017, are able to reapply for renewal benefits, but no newly filed applications will be accepted.  The recent order confirmed that DHS could continue to suspend the issuance of advance parole documents and could exercise the right to deny cases on an individual basis in the same way it did prior to September.  Yet, the decision is seen as a significant victory for DACA proponents because it reaffirms the position that DHS acted capriciously when it did away with the program.  The decision notably finds that DHS acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when it terminated DACA because the basis for the program was not unconstitutional.

“Federal courts from coast to coast have now reviewed the record and reached the same conclusion: President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA was illegal," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

Senate Leadership Eyes Chances of Deal on DACA

News from the courts comes in conjunction with rumors that a bipartisan group of senators has reached a consensus on immigration legislation.  An announcement is expected to be made later this evening.  

The Senate deal reportedly would establish a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants eligible for relief under DACA.  The compromise would not include an overhaul to the diversity visa lottery, or family reunification, which immigration hardliners have dubbed "chain migration."  It remains to be seen what position the Trump administration or House would take on the matter, given the exclusion of these two issues which are seen as potential deal-breakers.