Update 12/8/22: The Biden administration has now appealed Judge Sullivan's ruling, backtracking yet again on their promises to protect asylum rights. While the outcome of the litigation is not yet clear, the administration's decision increases the odds that Title 42 will remain in effect past its currently-scheduled end date.

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

Federal Court Again Puts DACA Youths’ Futures in Danger

UUSC urges Congress to take immediate action to create a path to citizenship.
In early October, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited ruling in Texas v. USA, declaring the original 2012 version of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to be illegal. However, the court did not rule on the legality of the Biden administration’s new DACA rule, which was intended to provide further legal protection for the program. Instead, the court sent the matter back to the lower court to assess the lawfulness of the administration’s new rule.

The court’s decision therefore does not immediately affect the status or ability of current DACA-holders to renew their applications. However, it places the future of the program in further jeopardy by returning the case to a lower court judge who has repeatedly ruled against DACA holders and similarly-situated immigrants in the past.
In light of these events, UUSC’s President Rev. Mary Katherine Morn issued the following response:

“DACA recipients and other immigrants on temporary status should not have to spend one more day in doubt as to their future. They belong here. This is their home. And they have demonstrated time and again that they will do what it takes to protect their rights and not allow themselves to be separated from their family members, loved ones, and communities.

“We can find temporary relief in the fact that the court ruling did not immediately terminate DACA. But with DACA recipients’ future back in the hands of Judge Andrew Hanen—who has repeatedly shown his hostility to people in migration—their status remains in jeopardy.

“There is one sure way to remove the cloud of uncertainty that hovers over DACA holders and other immigrants on temporary status. Congress has the power to grant a path to citizenship that would permanently resolve this injustice.

“With only a few months to go before the end of the 117th Congress, it is vital that our elected leaders finally get this done. DACA, TPS holders, and other immigrants have waited long enough for the path to permanent status they deserve.

“In the words of Doris Landaverde of the National TPS Alliance: ‘We know that in the end, the DACA fight will be won by Dreamers—not by lawyers, and not by any politicians, and we remain confident that justice will prevail in the end. Migrants deserve full equality, nothing more and nothing less!’

“U.S. leaders: pass a fair citizenship bill now.”

Take action and learn more: 

  • UUSC members can take action here to support a path to citizenship for DACA and TPS holders.
  • United We Dream, one of the largest DACAmented youth-led organizations, has provided this fact sheet for DACA recipients and others to know their rights.
  • UUSC’s partners at the National TPS Alliance issued this statement of solidarity in response to the ruling.
  • UUSC’s partners at the UndocuBlack Network issued this statement in response to the ruling, reiterating their long-standing demand for a path to citizenship for DACA holders and other immigrants