U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Review of Nationwide Injunction – DACA Renewals Likely to Remain in Place
On Monday, February 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the Trump Administration’s emergency request for review of a lower federal court’s nationwide injunction that blocks the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on March 5, 2018. The Administration sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court to bypass the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to obtain a faster decision on the legality of the nationwide injunction. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the Administration’s request without prejudice, ruling that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide the case. The nationwide injunction, issued by a San Francisco federal district court judge on January 9, 2018, prevents the Administration from ending the DACA program on March 5, 2018 and requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue to accept DACA renewal applications until a final judgment is made on the underlying lawsuit. In response to the injunction, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been accepting DACA renewal applications since January 13, 2018. The injunction does not require USCIS to accept new, initial DACA applications. The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the Administration’s challenge to the nationwide injunction has effectively cancelled the Administration’s March 5th deadline to rescind the DACA program. It is very unlikely that Congress will pass a law on DACA within the week, as it has failed to agree on new legislation with three DACA proposals having been rejected. Further, it is doubtful that a final judgment on the underlying lawsuit will be issued this year, as the Trump Administration’s appeal of the lower court decision is still pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and will likely return to the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, on February 13, 2018, a second federal district court judge in New York issued a nationwide injunction to block the rescission of the DACA program. At this time, the DHS must continue to accept DACA renewal applications, and operate and maintain the DACA program on the terms in place before the Trump Administration’s announcement on September 5, 2017 to rescind the program. We encourage our clients who have employees authorized to work under the DACA program and whose DACA benefits have expired or are set to expire to contact our office.