DHS Publishes Rule to Preserve and Fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Posted on 08/31/22

Last week, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security announced measures to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Obama-era executive order sought to protect undocumented immigrants who entered the United States while a minor. The August 24th USCIS announcement reinforced the Biden administration’s commitment to upholding humane immigration practices while continuing to support the most vulnerable among us. The final rule is to take effect on October 31st and will continue to reinforce the longstanding DACA policy.

Nearly 700,000 individuals have gained legal protections from the DACA program. Its protections have allowed immigrants to flourish in both academics and the workforce. The USCIS rule seeks to prevent the complex legal challenges that have overburdened the program’s full effectiveness over the past decade. Codifying its protections and continuing to support current recipients. DACA has faced several legal challenges since its inception but notably met the disfavor of the Trump administration that sought to unwind its core functions. Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration and its efforts to do away with DACA. Since then, several Republican states have banded together in legal action against the program yet again. In July of 2021, a federal court in Texas ordered an injunction that placed a hold on USCIS from granting initial data applications and employment authorizations. As DACA continues to find its way through the court system, the final rule will help protect the longstanding policy.

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