Biden administration releases revised DACA plan, seeks to surmount court ruling
The Biden administration announced Monday its plans to update DACA program. This is in response to a court decision that invalidated the original program for not having gone through the regulatory process.
Homeland Security has announced the plan and made it available for comment.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said many of the 825,000 people who have been granted a tentative foothold in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program since 2012 have gone on to become valuable members of their communities, and he said putting the program on firm legal footing is long overdue.
“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country,” he said in a statement announcing the updated policy. This notice of proposed rulemaking will help us achieve our goal .”
. The policy closely mirrors the original program that the Obama administration created via memo in 2012:. Those who arrived in the U.S. illegally before June 15, 2007, were not older than 30, as of June . They must have attempted to obtain a high school diploma or join the military.
DACA is also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Avail. It grants a two year stay of deportation. The recipients can still be in the country legally without authorization.
In reality, very few people were ever targeted for removal unless there was a criminal entanglement. DACA’s real benefit was its work permit and the potential it offers.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled this summer that the Obama administration had made too many concessions when creating DACA. Hanen stated that DACA was a major policy shift and should have been subject to the formal rulemaking process. Not a memo.
Hanen issued an injunction that allowed DACA holders to remain in the program while excluding new applicants.
The new proposal will be published in Federal Register on Tuesday. It was also released online Monday. This is an attempt to rectify the mistakes Judge Hanen made.
It does not resolve the issue.
A federal appeals court ruled that a similar Obama-era amnesty for deportation, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA. This broad amnesty is in violation of immigration law. If the Biden administration approves the new proposal, DACA could be subject to similar legal challenges.
Given the legal issues surrounding DACA there has been a consensus on Capitol Hill that Dreamers (the immigrants who are generally eligible for DACA) deserve better protection.
But Democrats insist that Dreamers should be included in a wider legalization package that would include as many as 8,000,000 people. Republicans, however, say that this is too broad and demand that any plan be accompanied by border security and enforcement tools. Democrats are resisting.
Immigrant-rights activists stated that the Biden proposal would give Dreamers some assurances. However, they insist that Congress must still provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers who, in many cases, have been brought up in the U.S. with little knowledge or memory of their home countries.
“Formalizing DACA may be a positive step but it is not a permanent solution. Ali Noorani, President and CEO of National Immigration Forum, said that this development is yet more proof that Congress must act.