Biden administration takes action to protect undocumented young adults


WASHINGTON – The Biden administration plans to publish a rule proposal Tuesday in hopes of preserving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults from deportation and allowed them to work legally in the United States .

The proposal is particularly important given a recent decision by the Senate parliamentarian not to allow the inclusion of immigration provisions in a sprawling budget bill, which Democrats say would put DACA beneficiaries on the back burner. path of citizenship.

The new rule, which will be published in the Federal Register, would come into effect after the administration reviews public comments for a 60-day comment period. It would protect some 700,000 undocumented migrants brought to the United States as children from deportation or the loss of their work permits, even if Congress does not pass comprehensive immigration reform.

For years, DACA recipients, often referred to as Dreamers, have been uncertain of their future as the program has been canceled, reinstated and partly canceled by court rulings and administrative actions. The Trump administration has attempted to end it and several states, led by Texas, have also challenged its legality.

The 205-page rule “is essentially an effort to protect the DACA program from litigation,” said Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School.

“While Democrats will try to find other ways to pave the way for a green card for dreamers,” he added, “the proposed rule could be a temporary safety net for dreamers in the event of a loss. ‘failure of the legislation’.

In July, a Texas federal judge ruled the program illegal and said President Barack Obama overstepped his authority when he created it by executive decision in 2012. The judge’s ruling said the administration Obama had failed to take the appropriate steps to establish the program, breaking the Administrative Procedure Act.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Houston wrote that current DACA recipients would not be immediately affected by his decision and that the federal government should “not take any immigration action. , deportation or criminal “against them who” would not take otherwise “. This gave the government time to deal with the program issues it had raised.

Since the decision, the Department of Homeland Security has continued to accept renewals but has not approved any new applications for the program.

Democrats had hoped to include a path to citizenship for Dreamers and about 7 million other undocumented immigrants living in the United States in a $ 3.5 trillion budget bill. But after the Senate parliamentarian ruled last week that these measures had no place in the bill, Democrats are preparing back-up plans. We would have update the immigration register, a process of extending legal permanent residence to immigrants on the basis of their long-standing presence in the country. The measure would benefit a lot in the DACA program.

“The Biden-Harris administration continues to take steps to protect the Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country,” Homeland Security secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement.

“This notice of proposed regulation is an important step towards achieving this goal,” he added. “However, only Congress can provide permanent protection.”

The DACA program has enabled many recipients to go to college, build careers, and buy homes. Polls have shown that Americans overwhelmingly support the offer of legal status to Dreamers.

“We know that DACA is not permanent – and it is not enough,” said Bruna B. Sollod, director of communications for United We Dream, a national advocacy group. “Millions of immigrants continue to live in fear and under threat of detention and deportation, which is why we need Democrats to deliver citizenship through reconciliation this year. “

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