Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum in June 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly known as DACA.
In a news release published last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that 800,000 people have been allowed to stay in the country under DACA, which protects many illegal aliens from deportation if they arrived as children.
The final rule, which takes effect October 31, will allow participants to continue to apply for work permits two years at a time.
“Today, we are taking another step to do everything in our power to preserve and fortify DACA, an extraordinary program that has transformed the lives of so many Dreamers,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
“Thanks to DACA, we have been enriched by young people who contribute so much to our communities and our country. Yet, we need Congress to pass legislation that provides an enduring solution for the young Dreamers who have known no country other than the United States as their own.”
The DHS clarified that the new rule “affirms the longstanding policy that DACA is not a form of lawful status but that DACA recipients, like other deferred action recipients, are considered ‘lawfully present’ for certain purposes.”
The main components of the program will remain in place “with limited changes.” Only those without serious criminal records and who meet other criteria such as school attendance are allowed to participate.
In July 2021, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hannen in Brownsville prevented the DHS from accepting new applications for DACA, but those already enrolled in the program were exempted from the order.
The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently heard oral argument in the case and a decision is expected in the near future. With the final rule, the Biden administration is seeking to defend DACA from being stricken down by the appeals court.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."