(NEW ORLEANS) –  Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, in the case challenging the legality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that the case should return to the trial court for further consideration.  In the meantime, DACA will continue for current DACA recipients.

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the Obama Administration’s 2012 DACA memorandum is unlawful because it violated the federal Administrative Procedures Act.  However, because the 2012 DACA memorandum will be replaced on October 31, 2022 by the Biden Administration’s new DACA regulation, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the case should return to U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen.

Granting the request made by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) last month, the Fifth Circuit sent the case back to the trial court to decide whether any of its rulings about the 2012 DACA memorandum are also applicable to the new DACA regulation.  The Fifth Circuit also ruled that, for current DACA recipients, anyone who currently has DACA will continue to be able to renew their grants of deferred action and work authorization.

Please attribute the following statement to MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz:

“A mixture of both faulty legal reasoning and proper respect for the reliance interests of current recipients, today’s Fifth Circuit panel decision defers to another day the final court determination on the legality of the DACA initiative.  By leaving in place the district court stay, the decision allows our nation to continue to benefit daily from the extraordinary contributions of DACA recipients to the protection of our society, the advancement of our economy, and the thriving of our nation.  At the same time, these contributions make ever more obvious the ongoing lost opportunity from the denial of similar protections to millions of other immigrants.  While MALDEF will continue in court to defend DACA and its courageous recipients as this pernicious Texas-led litigation reaches its next phase, Congress must act now to protect permanently DACA recipients and others similarly situated; failure to act is a clear dereliction of legislative duty.”

Please attribute the following statement to MALDEF Vice President of Litigation Nina Perales:

“We are glad the Fifth Circuit accepted our recommendation to keep DACA in place for current recipients and send the case down for further review by the trial court. We look forward to a thoughtful review of the new DACA regulation by the trial judge and will continue to defend against any effort to end this critical initiative.”

Read the order HERE.

Read a Timeline of Texas v. United States HERE.