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DACA Struck Down by Fifth Circuit

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) was invalidated by federal court, remanding the case to a lower court to address the administration’s final DACA rule.  

Current DACA recipients will remains enrolled in the program and retain their work status, according to the decision, providing some relief to DACA recipients and employers but prolonging the uncertainty hovering over the program since its inception. 

The Court ruled that DACA exceeds the limits on executive authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, applying the major questions doctrine that was recently expanded in West Virginia v. EPA. The decision upholds a 2021 ruling by a Texas federal court and remands the case back to the same court to address the DACA rulemaking finalized by the Biden administration this August. 

Outlook: The case is likely headed to the Supreme Court, which would be expected to strike down the program as exceeding executive authority—an admission made by President Obama around the time of the creation of the program. As was always the case, ultimately it will be up to Congress to enact the DACA program or similar protections for dreamers into law. 

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