DACA News: Everything Dreamers Need to Know

Posted by Frank Gogol

DACA is a program valuable to a lot of people who were taken to the U.S. as children. It’s very beneficial to them, and many people want to protect it as a result. Recently, there has been some news released about DACA. If you want to stay up to date with everything surrounding DACA, then make sure to read the information in this article carefully.

What Is DACA?

DACA is a program that was established in 2020 by President Barack Obama. DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and it was created to help certain people remain in the States. More specifically, it was directed towards those who were brought into the U.S. when they were children. If they are recipients of this program, they will not be deported. So, it brings protection to these individuals. It doesn’t grant them citizenship, but it lets them stay on U.S. soil.

The protection for a DACA recipient lasts for two years, after which the recipient has the option to apply for a renewal. Even though they don’t have citizenship, DACA recipients are allowed to work due to having the right to obtain work permits, as well as health insurance. So, they can make an income and be able to support themselves and their families.

This is not the only benefit for DACA recipients, though. They’re also able to get a driver’s license in some states, study, and even seek higher education.

Why Is DACA So Controversial in the U.S.?

DACA is a very controversial matter in the U.S. and it’s been like that for a while. It’s all because the Trump administration is very strict when it comes to immigration, and they were trying to put an end to this program or make it harder for people to be protected against deportation. The administration was trying to either end or limit the program to stop younger undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. a decade ago from getting protection.

Multiple states have been supporting Trump’s administration, and they wanted to end the Obama era and what it has brought to the States. In 2012, the DHS offered some deportation guidelines for certain groups of people as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

This group was made of undocumented people from abroad under the age of 31 who have been in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007. Other people included were those who either graduated from school or were honorably discharged veterans and those who were below 16 years old when they arrived in the U.S. These people should have not broken the law either.

So, since many people fit these criteria, there were around 800,000 individuals who applied for the program. In 2014, multiple states, including Texas, sued the Obama administration because of a larger immigration directive. This directive would defer deportations for parents of the veterans or students who had DACA benefits, and the group had about 3.6 million additional people. Furthermore, the Obama administration wanted to extend the DACA period to 2010, something that many people were not happy with.

As such, there were many attempts to block Obama’s plans, and since there were two other successful blockages of Obama’s proposals, those again the DACA benefits thought they would be successful once again. If the administration was successful in ending the program, then the American Civil Liberties Union and others were determined to pursue the issue.

Latest DACA News

Some DACA news has been emerging pretty recently, so if you’re one of the people interested in DACA, it’s best to read about them and be aware of what happened.

DACA Restored (November 2020)

Although the Trump administration was trying very hard to limit the DACA program, a federal judge in New York had to invalidate the rules given by the administration which narrowed the program. Basically, the ruling restrictions were not properly issued.

As the Trump administration was trying to end the program for good, Nicholas G. Garaufis, the judge, ruled that this was improperly issued, and that’s because Mr. Wolf was not properly appointed to his acting position. Apparently, Mr. Wolf was in his acting role illegally, and the ruling given by Nicholas G. Garaufis is already the fifth to find out that illegal means were used. The information was discovered after a Government Accountability Office report revealed that both Mr. Wolf and his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan, were not properly appointed. They were appointed under the federal law on job vacancies.

According to Judge Garaufis, the ruling is available and applies to those who might qualify for DACA under the 2012 memo that established the program. However, it does not apply to those who are plaintiffs in different lawsuits involving DACA.

The ruling given by the court did not manage to remove Mr. Wolf from his position. What it did was add some new rulings. These have found that as a consequence of his illegal appointment, Mr. Wolf was not authorized to issue so many policies. President Trump was the one who nominated Mr. Wolf as the homeland security secretary, but the Senate has not taken up the nomination yet. Ever since Kirstjen Nielsen departed back in April 2019, there has been no Senate-confirmed secretary.

This ruling managed to accomplish the first thing that President-elect Joe Biden promised to do in his first day in the office, respectively restore the DACA program to how it used to be. Not only will it allow new people to apply for the program, but it will also allow existing recipients to travel outside the country legally.

New Limitations Placed on DACA (September 2020)

Earlier in September, a few limitations were placed on the DACA program. Here are the respective changes that have been made:

  • All new pending requests for advanced parole would be refused, the only exception being those who were under certain circumstances
  • Renewals will be limited to a year only, instead of two. It would be considered on a case-by-case basis as well.
  • All petitions made for Employment Authorization Documents – work permits usually allowed under DACA rules would be denied
  • Every new DACA application would be rejected, whether it fulfilled the eligibility criteria or not

The only change attempt that was not successful was the renewal fee increase. The fee would remain the same as USCIS didn’t want to change it.

These changes would put more people at risk of being deported if they were unable to submit applications or renew existing ones.

Supreme Court DACA Decision (June 2020)

The Trump administration did as much as it could in order to put an end to DACA, but they were unsuccessful as the highest court rejected the administration’s attempt. The SCOTUS decided the DHS couldn’t proceed with this, and thus it was decided that DACA will keep existing. The ruling was given because the Trump administration didn’t have any proper justification for ending the DACA program.

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Conclusion

Although the Trump administration tried its best to end DACA, they were unsuccessful, and it seems that President-elect Joe Biden will be successful in restoring it, according to the DACA news. Keep an eye on the news to see what else is going to happen to DACA.

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