Virginia, US

Feb 26 2018

Supreme Court Declines Trump Administration’s DACA Review Request

United States

At a glance

  • The Supreme Court will not hear a fast-track review of a California federal district court injunction that temporarily blocks the Trump Administration from terminating the DACA program. The Administration’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit is pending.
  • The Department of Homeland Security will continue to accept DACA renewal applications in accordance with the district court’s order until further notice. 

A closer look

The Supreme Court has declined the Trump Administration’s request to review a federal district court order that temporarily enjoined the Administration from terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

In January, Federal District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California issued a nationwide temporary injunction that largely blocked the Trump Administration from rescinding the DACA program.  Subsequently, the Trump Administration took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to immediately review the California injunction, rather than await a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case is Regents of the University of California v. DHS.

In February, Federal District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York issued an almost identical nationwide injunction in a similar challenge to the DACA termination. The case is Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen.

What the Supreme Court decision means

Today’s decision means that the DACA program will not be terminated on the Administration’s target date of March 5, 2018.  DHS will continue to accept DACA renewal applications in accordance with the California district court’s order until further notice, but is not required to accept applications from foreign nationals who have not previously received DACA benefits.  

The decision also means that legal challenges to the program’s termination will continue in the lower federal courts.  Supreme Court review could take place after a federal appeals court ruling, but that is not likely to occur in the current Court term.

Congress is expected to continue to consider DACA relief legislation, though prospects for passage in the near future are not clear.

If you have questions about DACA, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen. This alert is for informational purposes only.