Fifth Circuit Court Jeopardizes 1.2M Lives By Punting DACA, Immigrant Advocates Demand Permanent Protections

New York, NY—Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit punted Texas v. United States back to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for consideration of the Biden administration’s final rule on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, keeping DACA in limbo and delaying relief for millions. DACA still stands for existing recipients, and people should continue to renew their status. The New York Immigration Coalition demands permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship as the millions of people reliant on DACA for their livelihoods continue to be in jeopardy.

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to punt the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program back to the lower courts cruelly keeps the futures of 1.2 million people in limbo as they wait for relief. DACA has allowed immigrant youth to attend school, join the workforce, and live free from fear of deportation. To continuously shuttle DACA through different courts, keeping it in limbo, is to devalue and ignore the contributions this policy has made to our state and country. The future of our immigrant communities shouldn’t be left up to one court decision—it should be enshrined in our nation’s laws. Our elected leaders in Washington must act now and provide permanent legal protections to DACA and TPS recipients, and all those who call our country home, but lack a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship.”


In July 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas ruled that DACA was illegally implemented and barred the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from approving new DACA requests. Judge Hanen stayed a portion of his ruling, allowing DHS to continue processing DACA renewals while the appeal was pending. The Biden administration appealed the decision at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (State of Texas v. USA).

The New York metropolitan / Tri-State area is home to 38,000 DACA recipients. Of these, 81% are currently in the labor force, 92% have a high school diploma, 51% have some college education, 20% are married, and 20% have children. There are more than 26,000 U.S. citizens in NY living with DACA recipients.