Tip Sheets

DACA remains on life support after Fifth Circuit decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a legal challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must go back for a new review by a lower court.


Stephen Yale-Loehr

Professor of Immigration Law

 Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell Law School and co-author of a leading 21-volume immigration law series, says the decision keeps the DACA program alive but on life support.

Yale-Loehr says: 

“The Fifth Circuit court of appeals held that the DACA program is illegal but remanded the case to the federal trial court to determine whether a new DACA rule issued earlier this year by the Biden administration made any difference in the program’s legality. The appellate judges blocked immigration officials from deporting DACA recipients until a final decision in the case.”

“Today’s decision protects existing DACA recipients. They can continue to renew their status. But uncertainty over the fate of the program continues. Congress should enact a legislative solution.” 

Shannon Gleeson

Professor of Labor Relations, Law & History

Shannon Gleeson, professor of labor relations, law and history at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, studies how U.S. policies impact immigrant workers. 

Gleeson says: 

“The ongoing legal fight to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program highlights the precarity of DACA beneficiaries and those that might otherwise qualify for the program. In the absence of a legislative fix, hundreds of thousands of immigrants may lose the modicum of stability that this relief from deportation and work authorization provides. In some states, DACA also opened up opportunities for health care, educational opportunities, and basic financial products that many of us take for granted.  While the future remains uncertain, what is clear is that DACA was never a permanent fix and requires leadership from politicians towards a more comprehensive solution for all unauthorized workers.” 

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