Are you concerned about the DACA decision made by the Fifth Circuit? Microsoft president and vice chair, Brad Smith, has released a statement that provides insight into its implications.
Find out what the Fifth Circuit DACA decision means and how it will impact our community.
Statement from Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith on the Fifth Circuit DACA decision
On November 8th, a federal court overturned the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This ruling from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals could have far-reaching implications for the more than 700,000 current DACA recipients and future immigrants who want to apply for this program.
It’s important to understand how the decision affects those currently enrolled in DACA and how it differs from previous decisions on similar issues. The following will provide an overview of the Fifth Circuit DACA decision and its potential implications for current DACA recipients and new applicants.
We’ll begin with a brief program history, including its purpose and scope. We’ll also discuss how it has been impacted by changes in immigration policy under both Democratic and Republican administrations throughout its history since 2012. Finally, we’ll look at what is likely to happen next based on this latest ruling, including any potential challenges that may arise should either side make a stay or appeal before further action can be taken by either Congress or the Supreme Court to finally resolve this long-running debate over immigration reform.
Overview of DACA
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an American immigration policy established by the Obama Administration in 2012. The program allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to receive deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit. DACA recipients are commonly referred to as “Dreamers” and estimates show that nearly 800,000 people have received protected status under this program.
The Trump Administration sought to end the DACA policy in 2017, prompting multiple lawsuits from civil rights and immigration advocacy organisations challenging their decision. The case eventually reached the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which recently ruled in favour of President Trump, concluding that he had the authority to terminate DACA on procedural grounds. This means that immigrant advocates must either file a new legal challenge or wait for Congress to reach a political resolution on deportations. It has failed to do so since 2013 when a comprehensive immigration reform effort collapsed in Congress over disagreements about border security provisions.
If Congress cannot pass legislation protecting “Dreamers” it is likely they will continue to be subject to deportation despite having lived in the United States legally since receiving their deferred action status under DACA. Moreover, going forward, much of this process could be further complicated by the uncertain outcomes of other cases involving undocumented immigrants making their way through lower and federal appeals courts.
Microsoft’s Commitment to DACA Recipients
Microsoft’s commitment to DACA recipients was reaffirmed following the Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling. Microsoft has worked since 2012 to create employment opportunities for them, including actively recruiting dreamers and providing the resources needed to ensure their academic success.
Microsoft also recently filed a brief in support of DACA recipients and announced that it would continue to provide legal counsel, grant college scholarships through its Philanthropie Alignment Program, and support legal efforts at the federal court level. In addition, Microsoft also highlighted its recent $1 million donation to a defence fund specifically dedicated to uncovering outstanding legal challenges faced by DACA recipients during this difficult period of uncertainty.
The company further expressed their potential willingness to invest more in their efforts if required, expressing the sentiment that “no matter how long this fight lasts… we remain committed”.
Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith’s Statement on the Fifth Circuit DACA Decision
Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith released the following statement regarding the Fifth Circuit’s decision to vacate the district court’s preliminary injunction reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“Today’s decision from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals further delays justice for Dreamers and creates continued uncertainty in their lives. The stakes could not be higher and our resolve stronger than ever to fight alongside these young Americans — many of whom have already made significant contributions to this country — as they seek a stable future here in the United States, their home.
It is now urgent that Congress pass a permanent legislative solution so these Dreamers can pursue their aspirations with confidence and certainty, free from fear of deportation. Microsoft stands ready to continue our advocacy for these talented and hardworking young people, who are our most important asset — our people.”
The Fifth Circuit’s Decision and Its Implications
On November 8, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel held that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful and must be terminated without further delay. In its long-awaited decision, the court decided that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has authority to rescind DACA and determined that DHS’s decision to end DACA was not subject to judicial review.
The court’s decision presents a frightening prospect for DACA recipients and their families, who now face an uncertain future. The immediate implications of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling are that no new applications for DACA will be accepted and all pending applications will remain in limbo with no guarantee of approval. Additionally, DHS can begin removing legal protections given to DACAs already in place, making them subject to removal proceedings in immigration court. Furthermore, DACAs will no longer receive work authorization permits or protection from deportation if they remain unlawfully present in the country.
Although the Fifth Circuit’s decision is seen by many as a major victory for opponents of immigration reform, there is still hope that current DACA recipients may retain their status. On November 14th ACLU requested a rehearing or an en banc rehearing in front of all judges on the Fifth Circuit instead of just a three-judge panel. This request was denied by judge Smith noting it was too soon after its initial denial on November 8th giving rise to speculation that it would eventually reach SCOTUS which upheld previous iterations decided by Obama Administration as constitutional under USC LAW Sections 1252 and 1252b permitting Supreme Court review in excluded classes such as national origin and race / ethnicity disputes cases against US government including executive branch agencies such as DHS strictly limited by law Subchapter II Section 8 U.S Code 1324.
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Impact of the Decision on DACA Recipients
On March 12th, 2020, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its decision on a case concerning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Trump administration’s attempts to terminate DACA. The decision’s immediate impact is that it prevented the termination of DACA, allowing current DACA recipients to renew their work authorization documents and protection from deportation.
However, despite this immediate benefit for DACA recipients, there are still certain unresolved issues regarding their legal status in the United States. For example, while current DACA recipients can continue to work and remain safe from deportation, future applications for new or renewal applications cannot be submitted until a resolution is provided by Congress or another court ruling. Furthermore, temporary protected status (TPS) designated individuals and Dreamers eligible for DACA before September 2017 cannot apply or renew at this time under current court rulings.
Therefore, while the recent ruling provided a much needed reprieve for thousands of current and potential DACA recipients across the country — it does not provide an ultimate solution regarding their immigration statuses. Until such a resolution is established through congressional action or further judicial action, those currently enrolled and eligible Dreamers will remain in limbo as they seek clarity on their future in this country they call home.
Microsoft’s Response to the Decision
On April 17, 2020, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the 2017 termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision comes as a victory for DACA recipients and advocates alike, who feel it is unjust for these individuals to be deported to countries that may not have been their home for many years.
In response to this ruling, Microsoft President Brad Smith released a statement encouraging Congress to pass legislation protecting DACA recipients. He praised their hard work, contributions and commitment to making the U.S. their home. He urged lawmakers to take action so they could continue living here in relative safety and security. Smith also offered Microsoft’s support if requested and necessary, noting that “we stand ready as an ally in this fight.”