The 5th Circuit upholds lower court ruling that DACA is illegal
Last Wednesday the 5th Circuit released their ruling on DACA, affirming a decision from the lower court that DACA is illegal. While both the district court and the 5th Circuit have ruled that the DACA program is illegal, they have continued a stay which allows those currently in the program to keep its protections and continue renewals. In practical terms, this latest decision doesn’t change the current situation for DACA recipients, but it signals that the program continues to be in danger of termination.
The 5th Circuit also sent the case back to the lower court to determine how a new rule published on the Federal Register by the Biden administration will affect this ruling. The new DACA rule, which is set to become effective on October 31st, doesn’t make any substantive changes to the DACA program, but would formalize it and address some of the procedural concerns that the courts have had with the legality of DACA. Judge Hanen has scheduled a conference with attorneys on Oct 14th to address this question.
Refugee admission for fiscal year 2022 remain low but show signs of hope
Last week the official data for refugee admissions was published, showing a total of 25,465 refugees welcomed to the United States in fiscal year 2022. While this number is still very low in comparison to the refugee ceiling set at 125,000, it shows an improvement over recent years that were deeply affected by policies under the Trump administration as well as COVID-19 restrictions. There were more refugees admitted in the United States in 2022 than in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 combined. President Biden has kept the presidential determination for fiscal year 2023 at the same 125,000 ceiling.
A report from CBS News offers some more hopeful news for the future of refugee resettlement as the refugee pipeline saw a significant increase throughout the year. They reported that USCIS interviewed almost 44,000 refugee applicants, which was a 382% increase from 2021. It’s also noteworthy that the U.S. welcomed almost 90,000 Afghans and 62,000 Ukrainians throughout the fiscal year. While most of those fleeing Afghanistan and Ukraine arrived through humanitarian parole rather than the US Refugee Admission Program, resettlement agencies across the country provided vital services to help them settle into their new homes.