Dreamers’legal status

By: Antonio Juan Benítez Rojas

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What is DACA?

One of Donald Trump’s promises from his candidacy to the Presidency of the United States has been the hardening of immigration policies of that nation. A major promise that was fulfilled was the elimination of the Deferred Action Program for Children Arrivals (DACA), which was created by President Barack Obama in 2012. This program was created to prevent the deportation of approximately 800,000 immigrants, who entered illegally into the country when they were underage. They are today known as dreamers.

What is DACA

As consequence of this decision, the DACA program would end on the March 5, 2018 deadline in which Congress should have enacted an legislation to regulate the legal status of people who are beneficiaries of the program. This legislative agreement has not happened due to disagreements between the two political parties. Moreover, DACA beneficiaries whose permission expired before that date, were able to request a two-year extension of it before October 5, 2017.

DACA’s current state of affairs

Naturally, this decision caused unrest in the legal sphere of DACA’s beneficiaries, many of which filed lawsuits throughout the United States. Some of these lawsuits were resolved recently, bringing new encouragement to the «dreamers». San Francisco federal courts and New York revived the program, declaring the illegality and unconstitutionality of President’s Trump decision to finish end the program. Thus, DACA is currently active, despite the fact that a judge in Maryland ruled in opposition.

Now, in the judgment made by Judge William Alsup of the Federal Court in San Francisco on 9 January 2018, it was ruled that DACA program could not finish because there were still other pending for resolution cases related to it. Against that decision, the Department of Justice of the United States appealed to the Supreme Court, but the appeal was rejected by the United States Supreme Court.

As a result, the DACA program remains an issue for the courts to decide.  Currently it continues to be active despite President’s Trump threats, even for those 22,000 beneficiaries of this program who failed to make the application deadline before October 5, 2017, and for whom it was ordered the processing of renewal applications.

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