For the first time since 2017, applications are being accepted for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The Trump administration has been trying to end DACA since 2017, but that effort has been on hold as lawsuits work their way through the court system.
The latest order by a federal judge in New York follows an attempt by then-acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in July to close DACA to new applicants. The crux of the new ruling surrounds the validity of Wolf’s appointment, and whether he was legally able to terminate the program.
Geoffrey Hoffman is director of the University of Houston Law Center’s Immigration Clinic. He told Texas Standard that in addition to requiring the federal government to accept new DACA applications, it provides DACA recipients with the ability to get employment authorizations for at least two years.
“The effect of the decision is immediate,” Hoffman said.
Though it has complied with the order, and provided notice that new DACA applications will be accepted, the Trump administration has also indicated it will appeal the decision.
Hoffman said courts are unlikely to rule on a Trump administration appeal before the coming end of the administration. A June Supreme Court decision that found the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it ended DACA also indicates future appeals are unlikely to succeed, Hoffman said.
A pending Texas case that seeks to invalidate DACA is also unlikely to kill the program, Hoffman said.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, and in light of this decision from New York, I don’t see any changes that are going to happen anytime soon,” Hoffman said.