The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled on Thursday that the Trump Administration lacked the authority to eliminate the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the end of the DACA program, an Obama era executive order that provided certain benefits to some individuals who illegally came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday. To learn more about the DACA program please click here.

The panel argued that the decision to terminate DACA would only remove a small percentage of the undocumented noncitizens present in the country. And the fact that this law exists allows the government to devote resources to other priorities such as threats to national security, “rather than blameless and economically productive young people with clean criminal records.”. The court cited many previous presidential administration that decided that not all people should be punished for every violation, including President Reagan’s decision to protect relatives of undocumented immigrants who were granted amnesty in 1986.

The Justice Department is likely to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, which after recent events, not has five conservative justices. For now, individuals in the country under DACA status can continue to renew their work and travel permits.

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Ian E. Scott, Esq. is the Founder of Scott Legal, P.C. He can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at

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