Biden Administration Announces a Proposed Rule to Protect DACA

On September 27, 2021, the Biden Administration plans to publish a proposed rule to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, after a ruling in July by a Texas federal judge that the policy is unlawful. Although new applicants are currently not being approved, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to accept and process renewal requests. 

Established in 2012, the Obama-era program has been the subject of ongoing litigation ever since. President Donald Trump attempted to end the program in 2017, but the effort was blocked by the Supreme Court last year. 

The proposed rule states that “Dreamers” should not be a priority for deportation, according to the 2012 Napolitano Memorandum and based on consistent judgment by DHS and three past presidents. After a 60-day public comment period, which the government will consider public input, the new rule will be published in The Federal Register. 

DHS also said the proposed rule is not a permanent solution, stressing that Congress needs to pass legislation. Democrats attempted to include immigration provisions—including measures that provided DACA recipients and millions of other undocumented individuals a pathway to citizenship—in the $3.5-trillion budget bill, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled against the move. 

In response, Democrats are seeking alternative ways to protect Dreamers. One plan is to update the immigration registry, which currently allows undocumented immigrants who have arrived in the United States before January 1, 1972, have continuously resided in the U.S. since then, and have met other requirements to obtain lawful permanent residency (or a green card). 

The DACA program has given more than 700,000 recipients the ability to attend college, obtain careers, and purchase homes, significantly contributing to the U.S. economy. In order to qualify for DACA, you must have arrived in the U.S. prior to reaching 16 years old, have been continuously living in the country since June 15, 2007, have graduated or currently in school, have no felony convictions, and are not a threat to public safety or national security, among other requirements. 

If you are interested in renewing your DACA protections in Phoenix, call Kanu & Associates, P.C. at (602) 353-7795 or fill out our online contact form today to request a case evaluation. Serving immigration clients throughout Arizona for more than two decades! 

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