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Biden administration plans to codify DACA

In an attempt to revive the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Biden administration has recently announced plans to federally finalize regulations.

If you or someone who know is unsure of their status as a DACA-recipient, contact one of our expert immigration professionals today at +1 844 290 6312 to discuss your immigration options.

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    The Biden administration’s plans for DACA

    The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which the Obama administration created in 2012 to grant protected status to individuals who entered the United States illegally as minors, has faced many setbacks in the last 5 years. Since 2017 when the Trump administration tried to end the immigration policy, the DACA program has faced a series of legal challenges that threaten its existence.

    In an effort to secure its safety, the Biden administration has announced a new federal regulation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to replace the Obama memo. This regulation, which will take effect on October 31st, 2022, will help codify the program and help protect it from any future legal challenges.

    Smiling Biden at podium

    Are there any new changes to the DACA requirements?

    Since it was created, the DACA program has allowed over 600,000 illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to legally live and work in the United States without the threat of deportation. Under the new federal rule, DACA recipients will still be able to enjoy the same work and residence privileges. Under DACA, recipients will be considered as ‘lawfully present’ in the United States for immigration purposes. Furthermore, the same eligibility requirements will remain unchanged. These requirements include the following:

    • The DACA applicant must be able to prove that they arrived in the United States by the age of 16 years old or younger
    • The DACA applicant must be able to prove that they arrived in the United States before June 2002
    • The DACA applicant will need to prove that they have studied at a school in the United States or have served in the military
    • The DACA applicant must not have a serious criminal record

    The Future of DACA

    Despite the Biden administration’s attempts to codify DACA with this new regulation, DACA will continue to face legal challenges by those who want to overturn the program and end it entirely. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to issue an option of DACA’s legality sometime soon. This particular Court of Appeal is expected to side with conservative views that the program is unlawful. If that opinion is offered, the Biden administration has the option to appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court.

    Every legal challenge the DACA program faces may lead to new problems for the program, including closing applications to new applicants and terminating the program entirely. Although the Biden administration has promised to protect and defend the DACA program, many critics believe that the only way to ensure its survival is to pass it through Congress and with it, create a pathway to U.S. citizenship for DACA recipients.

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