BY ISN STAFF | October 7, 2022
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that DACA, which has been in place since June of 2012, is unlawful. This decision comes months after an appeal was filed by the federal government in response to a similar ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas in July of 2021.
This decision does not address the updated rule which the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security issued in August and which is set to go into effect October 31. Hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients will maintain their status, as the court remanded the case back to Judge Hanen to rule on the new updated rule. The decision allows current enrollees to renew their status, but while USCIS is able to receive applications, they are currently unable to process new applicants because of the ruling.
It is with renewed interest that we continue to call on Congress to pass legislation that will guarantee a path to legal status, and ultimately citizenship, for DACA recipients, as well as for the nearly 11 million undocumented people who have come to call this country their home. DACA is not a permanent solution. While it has helped many young people be able to continue to work and study without fear of deportation in the short term, it does not do enough in the long term to protect this vulnerable group of people.
“We have seen firsthand, in the Jesuit, Catholic network, the positive impact of DACA for young people,” said Jorge Palacios, Migration Coordinator for Youth Engagement for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “While yesterday’s decision allows some relief for current DACA recipients, it is time that Congress take legislative action on behalf of those who are denied access to DACA as new applicants—and all who are impacted by inhumane migration policy. Catholic Social Teaching calls us to be attentive to and caring for the most vulnerable among us, and those who fear being separated from friends, families, and the communities they have come to call home must be included in that category of ‘most vulnerable.’ Only a path to citizenship and comprehensive immigration reform can guarantee the safety and security of DACA recipients, other undocumented young people, and many of the other nearly 11 million undocumented people living in our country.”