The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed the Trump administration a setback over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program, which shields hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The court declined to take up the issue for now.
The high court said an appeals court should hear the case first. Sessions’ Justice Department attempted to circumvent the justice system by going directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately the risk failed.
What this means is those under DACA who were unable to renew previously will be eligible to renew for the time being. The deadline for DACA is fast approaching, March 5, 2018 and it does not appear a bipartisan bill will come to fruition. Much of the debate has about the potential for “chain-migration” if the DACA immigrants are eligible for relief. “Chain-migration” as politicians like to call it, is simply family immigration. Although it is true that DACA immigrants upon obtaining lawful residence could petition relatives, those relatives would only be eligible for residence if they entered the United States lawfully or had a petition filed before April 30, 2001, many individuals would not qualify and therefore the threat of potential “chain migration” is much lower than politicians like to proclaim. Moreover if DACA immigrants were provided lawful permanent residence, any petition filed would have to wait in line for years or until they became naturalized citizens no sooner than 5 years.
In reality the DACA immigrants are being used by both sides for political gain.
As a practical matter, many of the DACA immigrants I have met and helped over the years are outstanding individuals. The loss of the DACA immigrants is a loss for the United States. If I were to propose a change in the immigration laws I do not believe abolishing all family immigration is reasonable or prudent. Although I do see why removing some categories of family immigration is acceptable and shifting the visas elsewhere. For example, sisters or brothers are not the type of family relationship I believe merits a visa category or perhaps limit petitions from lawful permanent residents as opposed to US citizens. I would then recommend using these visas to expand highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs or other immigrants that provide a benefit to the United States.