By Suzanne Gamboa
AUSTIN, Texas — Sheridan Aguirre has been bracing for an end in August to his protection from deportation and permission to work in the U.S.
Instead, the U.S. Supreme Court gave him a little time to breathe.
“I thought for me this was going to be my last go around for the program. Thankfully, we have the extra cushion,” said Aguirre, Austin, Texas field communications manager for United We Dream, an advocacy group for young immigrants without permanent legal status.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took no action on the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program known as DACA. Lower courts have kept the program alive and the administration has been trying to get those struck down so it could end DACA.
But the high court essentially kicked the issue down the road to the Supreme Court’s next session. Because that doesn’t begin until October, DACA renewals can continue at least another 10 months, barring any action from the administration or Congress.
Tuesday’s “no action” by the court also means word is being sent out to DACA recipients that they should get their renewals in as quickly as possible, even earlier than the recommended five months before expiration.
Because DACA is a two-year program, renewals before a court ruling could mean DACA protections could continue as late as 2021.
Greisa Martinez, United We Dream deputy executive director, said she’ll be getting her application in by next week. Her DACA was set to end in June.
Trump has pulled DACA into his standoff with Democrats over $5.7 billion he’s demanded for the wall he promised in his campaign that he would get built on nation’s southern border and that would be paid for by Mexico. The government is now in a more than month-long shutdown and federal workers have been working without pay.
Trump has told Democrats he’d reopen government and extend DACA benefits three more years in exchange for the funding and other immigration enforcement demands. So far, Democrats have rejected the offer and immigration advocates have opposed it.
Martinez said the U.S. Supreme Court inaction affirmed that “undocumented young people have been right to decline and deny the Trump administration’s false deal he’s put forward.”
But DACA recipients can’t let down their guard, because “all of this is caveated,” Martinez said. At any time the Trump administration could declare an immigration emergency that could stop DACA renewals.
On another front, Aguirre and others say the Supreme Court inaction on the issue means more time to raise money for grants to DACA recipients to pay the $495 reneal application fee. Last year United We Dream gave about $1.5 million to 3,000 DACA recipients to pay their fees.
“The urgency is still there,” Aguirre said. “We have no idea what the Trump administration will do.”