5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sends DACA case back to Texas

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 5:52pm
Updated: Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 8:53am
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A case arguing DACA was illegally created under the Obama administration had made its way to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Wednesday, the 5th Circuit sent that case back to the lower court it came from in Texas. 

Last year, the lower court ruled DACA was illegally created under the Obama administration and barred new applicants. Those who already had the status were allowed to keep it as the case worked its way through appeals.

The 5th Circuit affirmed the Texas decision this week, but also chose to send the case back to the Texas court. The judges say that lower court must reconsider the case in light of new efforts from the Biden administration to strengthen DACA. The administration issued a final rule about DACA earlier this year that's set to take effect Oct. 31.

Jose Patiño is a DACA recipient in Phoenix who works with fellow recipients and undocumented people as part of Phoenix-based immigrant advocacy network, Aliento. Under the new ruling, he can keep his status. But many students he works with are still in limbo.

"It’s always this miserable feeling, because it’s relief, and then you’re like oh, people you work with and people you support and mentor are still stuck," he said.

That’s because first time applicants are still not being processed under the new ruling. 

DACA is a temporary immigration status available to some undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children. It lasts for two years and gives recipients a work permit and protection from deportation. It was enacted by the Obama administration through a Department of Homeland Security memorandum in 2012.

The program has bounced around the federal court system since 2017 and offers no pathway to citizenship. In a press call Wednesday night, advocacy group renewed calls for a congressional solution. 

"This is an economic issue, it's a moral issue, and it's something that Congress needs to act on, now," said Greisa Martinez Rosa, executive director of United We Dream.

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