In August, the Biden administration released the new regulation concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
What does this mean for Dreamers?
The good news: Before the regulation, DACA’s only basis was executive action. With the regulation, it is further formalized with guidelines, making it also stronger to legal scrutiny.
Some of the notable clarifications that the guideline gives is that immigration offenses such as juvenile delinquency, felonies, and misdemeanors, do not make someone automatically barred from the program.
It also clarifies that Dreamers can only be barred from working if their DACA status has been terminated and not when their deportation trial starts.
Currently there are over 600,000 immigrants who are enrolled in the DACA program.
The bad news: The regulation does not go far enough to give a pathway for Dreamers for citizenship. It also only deals with DACA renewals and does not provide for new DACA applications, which has been on hold for years.
The new rules are set to take effect on October 31, 2022.
To recall, DACA is currently under deliberation in a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where advocates believe the program will be ruled as illegal.
With the codifying of DACA, the Biden administration can further argue for its legality. Even if the administration loses in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, it can continue arguing before the Supreme Court, where it will most likely appeal to if it loses in the lower court.
Still, the best way United States leaders can continue DACA is through legislation: A law needs to be passed and signed by the president that will give a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and to also allow more applications to come in.
For more information on DACA, consult with your trusted lawyer.