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Why DACA’s Latest Court Victory Doesn’t Mean Much

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The news of the latest win in court for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program didn’t capture headlines in the same way as past court rulings. Last November, when a judge in California blocked the Trump administration from repealing the Obama-era program that protects young, undocumented immigrants, the state’s attorney general called the ruling a “tremendous victory.” But on Friday, when a district court in Virginia reached the same ruling—that President Donald Trump did not follow appropriate administrative procedures in undoing the program—the decision garnered little attention.

Perhaps that’s because this latest ruling doesn’t mean much. By the time the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals submitted its decision on Friday, three other district courts—in California, New York, and Washington, D.C.—had already blocked Trump from undoing DACA.

However, as I wrote last November, this string of court victories for DACA does not mean that program has been saved:

“I see a lot of people call [these court decision] victories,” says Indira Marquez Robles, a DACA recipient attending university in Atlanta. “In a way, I do see it as a victory. But with these victories, there’s no real change. I always feel like it’s more like just holding on.”

Legal experts tend to agree with Marquez Robles. Though DACA has scored a string of legal successes since the Trump administration attempted to end the program, these have done little to protect the program.

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