Status of California’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Litigation

In January 2018, Attorney General Xavier Becerra obtained the first nationwide preliminary injunction (court order) against the Trump Administration, halting the termination of DACA. The preliminary injunction effectively reinstated the DACA initiative for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, by allowing those with DACA to renew their status until the court makes a final ruling. Other plaintiffs in the case led by Attorney General Becerra include the Attorneys General for Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, as well as the University of California, individual Dreamers and others.

DACA renewals to date resulting from the injunction

  • On January 13, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services resumed accepting requests to renew deferred action under DACA.
  • Since January, more than 187,000 Dreamers whose DACA approvals had expired, or would have expired, have been able to regain or keep their DACA protections.

Other significant moments in court

AG Becerra's Quote on DACA

Timeline of Legal Actions



NOVEMBER 08, 2018

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the preliminary injunction Attorney General Becerra secured in January, allowing DACA recipients to continue renewing applications

Press Release:




OCTOBER 01, 2018

Federal officials release data showing that more than 187,000 Dreamers have been able to renew their DACA protection as a result of the nationwide injunction secured by California.

Press Release:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Data:

JULY 2018

JULY 23, 2018

Attorney General Becerra co-leads multistate amicus brief in defense of DACA recipients in lawsuit by Texas and other states to invalidate DACA.

DACA recipients are leaders, teachers, friends, neighbors, business owners, and classmates. We will all lose out on their contributions if Texas has its way. Any effort to end DACA is a misguided attempt to prevent people from continuing to make a positive impact for themselves, their families, and our States.

Press Release:

Filing: 21_motion_to_file_states_amicus_brief_and_attachments_stamped.pdf

JULY 02, 2018

Federal officials release data showing that more than 102,000 Dreamers have been able to renew their DACA protection as a result of the nationwide injunction secured by California.

Press Release:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Data:

MAY 2018

MAY 15, 2018

Attorney General Becerra’s team defends DACA preliminary injunction during hearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Press Release:

APRIL 2018

APRIL 03, 2018

Federal government announces that at least 30,000 Dreamers have successfully renewed their DACA applications since January 2018 as a result of the nationwide injunction secured by Attorney General Becerra.

Press Release:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Data:


FEBRUARY 26, 2018

The Supreme Court denies the federal government’s unusual attempt to bypass Ninth Circuit review of the injunction in DACA, allowing the normal appellate review process to proceed.

The Supreme Court denied the federal government’s unusual and unnecessary request to bypass the Appeals Court review of our DACA lawsuit. We look forward to explaining to the Ninth Circuit court that DACA is fully legal.

Press Release:


JANUARY 09, 2018

Attorney General Becerra secures nationwide preliminary injunction effectively reinstating the DACA initiative in substantial part. Under the preliminary injunction, current and some former DACA recipients can renew their DACA for the duration of the case.

Dreamers' lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump Administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law. Tonight's ruling is a huge step in the right direction.

Press release:

Initial Filing: Asking Court to Reinstate DACA for Duration of Case:


NOVEMBER 16, 2017

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agrees with Attorney General Becerra that the Trump Administration should complete the administrative record by submitting additional documents related to its decision to rescind DACA.


Attorney General’s Filing Opposing Petition for Writ of Mandamus:

NOVEMBER 01, 2017

Attorney General Becerra asks the District Court for a preliminary injunction to protect Dreamers and DACA by blocking the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA until the Attorney General’s suit is finally resolved.

America is and has been home to the Dreamers who courageously came forward and applied for DACA. They have done everything our government has asked of them. They followed the rules directed by DACA, they succeeded in school, at work and in business, and they have contributed in building a better America. They epitomize the American Dream. Our Dreamers deserve to know that we respect their values and grit. And they deserve to know that we will fight at every turn for their rights and opportunities so they may continue to contribute to America.


Press Release:


OCTOBER 17, 2017

U.S. District Court grants plaintiffs’ request to require the Trump Administration to submit a complete set of documents for the court record reflecting everything that Trump Administration officials considered when they decided to end DACA.

OCTOBER 13-20, 2017

Attorney General Becerra’s team questions Trump Administration officials under oath about the decision to terminate DACA.


SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Attorney General Becerra, joined by three other attorneys general, sues the Trump Administration over its decision to terminate DACA.

Attorney General Becerra, joined by the attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration challenging its decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA).

The DACA initiative has allowed more than 800,000 Dreamers, children brought to this country without documentation, to come out of the shadows and become successful and productive Americans. One-in-four of those DACA Dreamers know California as home, and it’s no coincidence that our great state is the sixth largest economy in the world.
The court of public opinion has already spoken: the vast majority of Americans agree Dreamers should be here to stay; so now it's time to fight in every way we can – and on multiple fronts – in the court of law.

The Complaint:

Press Release:

SEPTEMBER 01, 2017

Attorney General Becerra in Huffington Post: "DACA is lawful and making America stronger."

Over the last five years, Dreamers ― immigrants brought to the United States as young children by their parents without documents ― have paid fees, passed background checks and applied for work permits so they could step out of the shadows. They’ve earned a chance to fulfill their potential, contribute to our economy and enrich our communities… These young people pursue careers that range from serving our country in the military to joining the ranks of police officers to teaching the next generation of leaders in the classroom.



JULY 2017

JULY 21, 2017

Attorney General Becerra sends multistate letter to Trump: “We Stand Ready to Defend DACA.”

Attorney General Becerra, leading a coalition of 20 Attorneys General, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to protect and maintain the DACA program.

Mr. President, now is the time to affirm the commitment you made, both to the “incredible kids” who benefit from DACA and to their families and our communities, to handle this issue “with heart.” You said Dreamers should “rest easy.” We urge you to affirm America’s values and tradition as a nation of immigrants and make clear that you will not only continue DACA, but that you will defend it.




Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is a policy ensuring deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children.

DACA allows young people who were brought to the United States as children, and who meet several key criteria to be considered for temporary relief from deportation. However, DACA does not provide lawful status.

Once granted, DACA is valid for two years and may be renewed. Individuals granted deferred action will also be eligible to request employment authorization, a legal work permit issued by the federal government. DACA applicants go through extensive background checks, and it is granted on a case-by-case basis.

DACA benefits are generally valid for two years from the date of issuance. Current DACA recipients are permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) until they expire, unless terminated or revoked. As a result of the preliminary injunction issued by the court in Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s lawsuit, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed accepting and processing renewal requests.

For more information on how to apply for renewal, visit:

Yes. Under existing regulations, if a case is deferred, the individual may obtain employment authorization from USCIS.

Individuals with DACA whose status is set to expire should consult with an immigration attorney. Each case is different and a range of factors must be considered.

As a result of the injunction, the court ordered the federal government to publish updated statistics, which revealed that more than 187,000 Dreamers have been able to renew their DACA status and secure two more years of DACA protection.

In January, the District Court for the Northern District of California granted the motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Attorney General Becerra, along with three other attorneys general and other plaintiffs. This preliminary injunction allows Dreamers who have previously received DACA to have their renewal applications considered while the underlying case progresses.

It is best to consult an attorney if you have questions about your immigration status or eligibility for benefits. For those who cannot afford an attorney, many immigrant advocacy organizations publish information and assist DACA recipients and individuals who may be eligible for DACA.

Helpful Resources

UC Resources

UC Resources

Allies, Support, and References to Safe Havens on Campus for DACA Students

Cal State Resources

Cal State Resources

Financial Aid, Admissions Details, Campus Support, and Legal Services for Dreamers

Community College Resources

Community College Resources

Support, Funding, and Updates for Undocumented Students


CA Social Services - DACA Contractor List

Legal Services for DACA Applications

CA Immigrant Guide

CA Immigrant Guide

Compiled Information on DACA