For those keeping track of the ongoing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, debate, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled in favor of DACA applicants. Trump ended the program, which provides employment authorization and protection from deportation for approximately 700,000 young people, back in March. The District Court has since held that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and vacated the termination of the program. As a part of this ruling, the government must now continue to accept and process new and renewal DACA applications, but the government has 90 days to respond to this ruling.
This ruling is important because it once again allows for first-time applicants to apply for DACA, if at least temporarily. Of course, because the government has until July 23, 2018 to respond, it is likely that this current ruling is only the most recent decision affecting thousands of DACA applicants. If and when the government responds, this could again change the rules for first-time DACA applicants. It is also possible that Congress could weigh in and finally put the program to a vote and decide to formalize it, or some version of it, into law. In any case, many DACA recipients remain in a state of limbo, as all three branches of government wrestle with the program’s fate.