HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 26) - There’s still uncertainty amid a small victory for immigrant rights activists. On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to intervene in a lower court’s ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Trump administration hoped to phase out the Obama-era executive order by March 5, 2018.
In December, a federal district judge ruled current DACA recipients should be allowed to renew while the future of the program is determined by the court system or Congress finds a permanent solution.
“We applaud the Supreme Court for telling the Trump administration that they must follow the judicial system,” said Cesar Espinosa, Executive Director of Fiel Houston.
Diana Platas is a Dreamer and senior at the University of Houston. She welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision but her future in the U.S. is still at the mercy of the courts and Congress. Platas was brought the U.S. when she was 2 years old from Mexico.
“[I] currently [have] 2 months left for my current work permit to expire. And, I already submitted an application to reapply and I’m still in the process waiting for a decision,” Platas told FOX 26 News.
Plata worries her renewal will not process before her current work permit expires. It is a concern many DACA recipients have, according to Mana Yegani, an immigration attorney in Houston.
“The trend that we’re seeing is that applicants who have applied to renew their work permits, the decision is not being made on those renewals,” said Yegani.
She added before the Trump administration’s announcement to end the DACA program in September, work permit renewals for DACA took 3 to 4 months on average. Yagani says now it’s closer to 6 months.
“Their employers don’t know what to do,” Yegani added.
Futhermore, DACA recipients are also at risk of losing their driver’s licenses if their work permits do not renew in time.
The U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes the renewal applications. Fox 26 News reached out to USCIS for comment. A spokeswoman says she is checking with the Service Center Department and she should have a response by Tuesday.