Federal appeals court rules against Trump on ending DACA

Analysis on Litigation

A federal appeals court ruled Friday the Trump administration acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it sought to end an Obama-era program that shields young immigrants from deportation.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that the Trump administration violated federal law when it tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program without adequately explaining why. The ruling overturns a lower court ruling a judge in Maryland made last year, which Trump had previously praised via Twitter.

Friday’s ruling will not have any immediate effect as other federal courts have already ordered that DACA be kept in place.

The 4th Circuit ruling said the Department of Homeland Security did not “adequately account” for how ending DACA program would affect the hundreds of thousands of young people who “structured their lives” around the program.

“We recognize the struggle is not over and there are more battles to fight in the Supreme Court on this road to justice, but our families are emboldened by knowing that they are on the right side of history,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of Casa de Maryland, the lead plaintiff in the case.

Trump and his Justice Department have argued that the Obama administration acted unlawfully when it implemented DACA. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Preserving DACA is a top Democratic priority, but discussions between Trump and Democrats on the issue have gone nowhere.

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USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum (PM), Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (PDF, 140 KB).

USCIS may issue NTAs as described below based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status; I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions); I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US; I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above).

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.