What does the latest federal ruling mean for DACA? A UConn expert weighs in.

What does the latest federal ruling mean for DACA? A UConn expert weighs in.

August 2, 20212 min read

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more commonly known as DACA, was introduced in 2012, and ithas enabled roughly 828,000 eligible young adults to work, attend school, and live out their lives in the United States, the only country they know as their home, according to the American Immigration Council.

DACA is back in news, though, after a federal judge in Texas ruled that the program was unconstitutional, a decision that attorney, scholar, and expert Jon Bauer from the UConn School of Law says is shaky: 

The decision in federal court wasn’t a surprise to Jon Bauer, who directs the University of Connecticut Law School’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic. Because Hanen is known for his conservative judicial philosophy, according to Bauer, the ruling was expected to interfere with DACA in some capacity.

But Bauer said the ruling could be overturned.

“The reasoning of the decision is very weak, in my opinion. The judge, I think, misconstrued the scope of the Department of Homeland Security's authority to engage in what's called deferred action, which is what the DACA program is,” Bauer said.

Connecticut has 3,560 residents who have DACA, as of March 2020, according to the Department of Homeland Security which administers the policy. Current recipients aren’t in immediate danger of losing their status, since the ruling as of now only prevents first time applicants from getting DACA.

Bauer said that non-citizens have long been allowed to work with deferred action. While the federal government can conceivably attempt a legislative path to citizenship for DACA recipients, the road ahead to any permanent solution is uncertain due to the divisive nature of the current Congress. July 31, 2021 – Hearst Connecticut Media

The fate of DACA is important not just to the individual recipients, but to the immigration system and economy of the United States more broadly.  If you are a journalist looking to know more, then let us help.

Jon Bauer is a clinical professor of law and is the director of the UConn School of Law’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic. He is a go-to expert in the areas of asylum and refugee law, immigration law, employment and housing discrimination, and legal ethics.

Professor Bauer is available to speak with media regarding this most recent DACA ruling – simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Connect with:
  • Jon Bauer, J.D.
    Jon Bauer, J.D. Clinical Professor of Law

    Expertise: Asylum and Refugee Law, Immigration Law, Employment and Housing Discrimination, and Legal Ethics

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