In order to analyze the new Biden rule and temporarily protect Dreamers, the Appeals Court remands the DACA issue to the lower court.

Thousands of young immigrants enrolled in a program that allows them to work and study in the United States without fear of deportation were given a temporary reprieve by a federal appeals court on Wednesday, though it is unclear how long the reprieve will last.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision instructs the lower court judge who determined that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has been in place for ten years, is illegal to take into account an new rule issued by the Biden administration. The program may continue, but only for current DACA recipients, sometimes known as Dreamers; new applicants are not permitted.

Although the rule review might keep DACA in place for at least a few more months, its future is far from certain, especially given the Supreme Court’s current, more conservative makeup.

According to a statement from a Justice Department official, the department respectfully disagrees with the ruling and will continue to vehemently defend the legality of DACA as this case develops.

In case the courts ordered the program to be discontinued, the Biden administration has been developing backup plans. President Joe Biden is preparing an executive order instructing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deprioritize the removal of DACA recipients and refrain from deporting them if they aren’t considered threats to public safety or national security, according to people close to the White House, who spoke to NBC News. However, that decision is just temporary, and a future president might reverse it.

The administration also unveiled a new regulation in August to codify DACA and address some of the issues raised by the Supreme Court about the initiative. The new rule is scheduled to take effect on October 31. The appeals court ordered a federal judge in Texas to reconsider the rule.

The head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., said in a statement on Wednesday that DACA recipients might exhale with relief, but he added that it is still urgent to adopt a long-term solution that offers stability to their lives.

In 2012, President Barack Obama issued an executive order creating DACA in response to dissatisfaction over the lack of immigration reform from Congress. The program created a mechanism for young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children—often referred to as Dreamers—to study and work without worrying about being deported. The DREAM Act was proposed by Congress but was never implemented.

However, President Donald Trump said in September 2017 that he was discontinuing the program and called for a permanent version of the program as part of a comprehensive immigration overhaul. Trump had previously praised such young people despite campaign promises to tighten down on illegal immigration. He tweeted, “Congress, get ready to do your job DACA.”

A lawsuit was filed to prevent the program’s termination when Congress was unable to come to an agreement.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the advocates in a 5-4 decision in June 2020. Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the deciding decision, concurred with the liberal justices, concluding that the Trump administration had broken federal agency law when it discontinued DACA in 2017 because the memo outlining its termination omitted key details of the scheme. At the conclusion of his opinion, Roberts noted that the DHS may easily review its legal plan for how to terminate DACA in the future.

With the support of other Republican-led states, Texas, which is home to over 100,000 DACA recipients, persisted with a lawsuit it launched in 2018 asserting that the program is unlawful. Texas further claimed that the program is problematic because it allows DACA recipients to compete with citizens for jobs and because it places some of the burden of paying for social services, health care, and education costs on the state.

Advocates for immigration contended that the states had not provided sufficient proof of the costs involved and that they would nonetheless be required to cover them. The advocates filing claimed that the states also neglected to take into consideration how DACA recipients living in the states outweigh the additional tax revenue the states receive from them as well as their contributions to society (including through their employment in the fields of healthcare, education, and other service jobs).

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Houston sided with the states in his July 2021 ruling, ruling that DACA was illegal and that DHS lacked the power to administer it. While permitting DHS to handle DACA renewal petitions, he barred the approval of new applicants and partially upheld sections of his judgment awaiting appeal.

Hanen highlighted in his decision that the DACA beneficiaries had gained support among the general population.

He said that many people entered the nation illegally or stayed there without authorization for no fault of their own. Additionally, several of the amicus papers claim that compared to other immigrant communities, the DACA population is typically well-educated and better positioned to contribute to the wellbeing of this country. Despite their young, they all follow the law and assume leadership positions. The DACA population is far more appealing and empathetic as a result of these qualities. Despite the fact that these may be strong policy arguments in favor of DACA, they have no bearing on the court’s ruling.

Regardless of how well-liked this program may be, Congress should have been and still is the program’s proper source of origin. Added Hanen.
Advocates like Sergio Gonzales encouraged Congress to act immediately in the wake of the appeals court decision.

Gonzales, the executive director of the Immigration Hub, said in a statement: “The only practical way to protect the 610,000 young people with DACA is for Congress to act by the end of the year. With the direction of the courts clear, options for executive action limited, and a change in the composition of Congress possible.

He stated that any reasonable Republicans still in Congress should adopt the pragmatism of previous GOP leaders like John McCain and act in the nation’s best interests.