What’s Happening With the DACA Program? Here’s Everything That You Need to Know

In September 2017, President Trump called for an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals Program (DACA). A final decision has yet to be taken on the fate of the program, and
for the last two years, the program has been wrapped in a legal battle. Lower courts have
ruled in favor of the DACA program, but the Supreme Court’s decision on DACA is pending.
It is easily the most anticipated and significant case that the Supreme Court will hear in 2019.
Here’s everything you need to know about it:

What is the DACA Program?

President Obama founded the DACA initiative in 2012. In a nutshell, the DACA initiative is an
immigration policy that allows illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as
children to stay in the USA intermittently. Under the program, these immigrants can apply for
a two-year renewable period of deferred action that protects them from deportation. If their
application is approved, they are eligible for a work permit, as well. Applicants for the
program must meet specific requirements regarding their age and education. Their criminal
history must be free of any felonies and serious misdemeanors, as well.
What is the Current Status of the Program?

As per lower court rulings, most of the DACA program is still intact. Applicants that qualify
for the program have also been able to renew their DACA statuses for two years during this
time. However, no new immigrants can join the program. Eligibility for renewal is limited to
the immigrants that had applied for protection prior to President Trump’s decision to
terminate the program.

If your DACA status is going to expire before March 2021, then you must apply for renewal as
soon as possible. The same applies to individuals who previously had DACA, but their status
got terminated.

When Will the Supreme Court’s Decision on DACA Take Place?

On November 12, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging President Trump’s
attempt to terminate the DACA initiative. At the moment, the Supreme Court has emphasized
one question: Does the government have a strong explanation for ending the DACA? This is a
standard procedure pertaining to every major policy decision taken by the Executive Branch.
The Trump administration must be able to give a reason for ending the imitative. As per the
memos submitted by administration officials, the initiative was unconstitutional from the
beginning. However, these memos did not offer any justifications for ending the program
altogether.

The final decision on the DACA program is expected to be taken by June 2020. Once the
Supreme Court’s decision on DACA is in, Congress and the president will be required to come
up with a solution for the people who have lived and worked in the United States under the
program. It remains to be seen whether these individuals will be asked to leave the country or
will be provided with a new resolution that allows them to stay in the United States
permanently.