Richard S. RosenbergStephanie B. Kantor, AssociateIn September 2017, President Trump had announced his intent to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an immigration program which protected from deportation certain undocumented immigrants illegally brought to the United States as children. These kids (known as “Dreamers”) are allowed to obtain work permits and legally work in the United States. President Trump’s order set the official termination date as March 5, 2018.

In response, several lawsuits were filed aiming to block the program from ending. President Trump had tried to expedite these legal challenges by skipping over the normal appellate process and going straight to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, on Monday, the Supreme Court denied President Trump’s bid to fast-track the appeal decision. This means that the appeals courts must be allowed to rule on the DACA lawsuits before an appeal to the Supreme Court can be sought. We expect those rulings to occur sometime this summer. This means that the issue will not be back before the Supreme Court until sometime during the Court’s next term, which begins in October.

Until the legal challenges are resolved in the courts, and assuming Congress does not step in, the DACA immigrants who have already signed up for DACA protection are shielded from deportation and permitted to continue working. Further, persons already enrolled in the DACA program are also allowed to renew their two-year protected status while the legal challenges move forward.

What this means for you: Until the legal challenges are resolved, employers may continue to legally employ DACA employees with current unexpired work permits. And, employers should not terminate these employees because they are legally permitted to work until a court ruling or legislation changes their status. For those DACA employees whose work permits have expired while they are waiting for their renewal, we suggest considering putting them on administrative leave until their renewals are received.