As of March 2022, 611,270 immigrants were enrolled in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). DACA allows immigrant children to live in the country without fear of deportation for a specified period of time. Last year the acceptance of new applications was closed when a federal judge in Texas ruled the Obama administration did not take the correct steps in issuing the order.
The Biden administration has finalized a rule to fortify and protect DACA from anticipated legal challenges and is set to change the program from a policy to a rule on October 31. The new regulation will adhere to existing rules such as the immigrant having to prove that he/she arrived in the United States prior to June 2007 and prior to his/her 16th birthday. Also, the immigrant must prove attendance in school or service in the military. He/she must also be free of a serious criminal record. The new rule also provides the recipients to opportunity to apply for a renewable work permit every two years. Challenges will follow. Some feel that the DACA policy violates federal law. Ongoing litigation could be costly and time consuming and could spell the eventual end of DACA.
DACA, or the “Dream Act”, was created in 2012 by the Obama administration to protect beneficiaries from deportation and to give them eligibility for work status. DACA is not a form of lawful status, rather its recipients are considered “lawfully present” for certain purposes. President Trump tried to end or scale down DACA but in June 2020 the Supreme Court said proper procedures had not been followed during the process.