Third Federal Judge Weighs in on DACA - Allows for New Applications


If you have been following the situation with regard to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, you'll know:

  • It was rescinded in September 2017
  • Renewal applications were originally only available until October 5, 2017
  • DACA was set to expire on March 5, 2018
  • A lawsuit was filed challenging the legality of the rescission
  • Two federal judges have ruled that, while new applications can no longer be received, renewal applications must continue to be received until the lawsuit is settled

The two rulings by federal judges allowed renewal applications to continue to be received beyond the March 5th expiration date. Now, a third federal judge has weighed in on the rescission declaring that the grounds for making the decision, based on the program being identified as unlawful, were not adequately explained. The judge's decision not only allows renewal applications to continue to be received, but also orders the federal government to accept and process new applications as well.

The decision has huge implications for school age students that have become eligible since October 5, 2017 or will become eligible to be DACA recipients. Children aren't eligible to apply for DACA until age 15. The Migration Policy Institute reports that there are approximately 120,000 children that could become eligible for DACA when they turn 15 if they remain in school.

The ruling includes a 90 day delay in implementation "to give the Trump administration a chance to re-argue its case (EdWeek)." If the ruling goes into effect, it could provide a welcome relief to the uncertainty regarding this issue that has been present since DACA was rescinded more than half a year ago.


Dr. David Holbrook

About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I, Title III, Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director, Federal Compliance and State Relationships with TransAct.