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Fifth Circuit Ruling Should Be Wake Up Call for Congress to Address DACA

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Theresa Cardinal Brown, managing director of immigration and cross-border policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center, in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s ruling on DACA:  

“The 5th Circuit upheld a ruling that the executive branch does not have the legal authority to help DACA recipients because Congress has not given that authority—Congress can do so now.  

“Congress undoubtedly has a number of issues to address by the end of this session but legislating on the current DACA program is the least it can do after years of failing to act. There is much more that needs to be done to address the systemic issues in the U.S. immigration system and the larger universe of Dreamers, but Congress can begin by doing the bare minimum—addressing DACA.  

“For over a decade, Congress has kicked the can down the road when it comes to DACA and Dreamers, but never more so than after the courts got involved. They have abdicated their power to define immigration policy for too long. Now, DACA’s lifeline is at its end.  

“Punting action on this has forced the courts to decide and define immigration policy ad hoc, creating confusion and uncertainty for DACA recipients. With a majority of members expressing support for DACA migrants and Dreamers, the time for Congress to pass legislation for these individuals is now.”