Biden Administration Takes Steps To Preserve DACA

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it is proposing a rule that would “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

DACA, which was created in 2012 through executive action by then-President Barack Obama, has allowed about 600,000 immigrants, most of whom were brought to the United States illegally as children — a group commonly referred to as “Dreamers” — to avoid deportation.

The move comes months after a federal judge in Texas ruled that DACA was unlawful because the creation of the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act, in part because the Department of Homeland Security never sought public comment.

In July, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said DACA was an  “illegally implemented program,” and its  “existence violates the law.”

Judge Hanen order the Department of Homeland Security to stop accepting new applications. However, he allowed renewals to be processed while the government attempted to “remedy the legal defects of the program.”

The Biden administrated appealed the ruling earlier this month.

The new rule will recreate that DACA policy as it was originally announced in 2012, but will address the judge’s concerns.

It will call for the DHS to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” regarding Dreamers, asserting that “DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal.” The rule would also “modify and improve the existing filing process,” the Department of Homeland Security said.

The proposed rule will be open for a 60-day comment period starting Tuesday after it is published.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a news release. “This notice of proposed rulemaking is an important step to achieve that goal.”

Mayorkas, however, noted that only Congress can give DACA recipients permanent protection and called on lawmakers “to act swiftly to provide Dreamers the legal status they need and deserve.”

DHS will review and consider the public comments before issuing a final rule.


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