Immigration and Criminal Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado explains the Maryland DACA decision. The Federal Judge in the Maryland case comes to the opposite conclusion that the Judges in the Northern California and New York cases came to.
The Maryland Federal Judge Roger W. Titus goes as far as to state that “[t]his Court does not like the outcome of this case, but is constrained by its constitutionally limited role to the result that it has reached.” The Judge also wrote that he would have chosen a different outcome if he were a different branch of our government. Essentially, Judge Titus is expressing that he is personally in favor of DACA recipients remaining in the Country, yet he believes the arguments in the federal lawsuits are not strong enough to result in a legal victory.
Practically, this has no immediate impact for DACA recipients. Thanks to the injunction issued by the Judge in the Northern District of California USCIS began accepting applications for anyone who had ever been in the DACA program. This decision was supported with a similar order from the New York Judge. The Maryland decision does not immediately result in USCIS stopping to consider these applications. USCIS issued a statement, which was updated on February 14, 2018, stating they they will accept DACA renewals for anyone who has previously had DACA. The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to allow the Trump Administration to appeal directly to them and instead ordered the case be considered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals first.
The important take away from the Maryland decision is that it is a good prediction of how the Supreme Court will likely rule once the case is in their hands. Now that a dispute between the lower courts exists it is even more certain that the Supreme Court will accept Cert and issue a ruling on DACA. Unfortunately, there is a strong chance that the decision we see from the Supreme Court will be similar to the one issued by the Federal Judge in Maryland. For this reason, it is imperative that the community continues to demand a clean Dream Act prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling.