One of the first ways the Trump administration restricted immigration was by attempting to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that has protected hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants from deportation. DACA also allows these individuals to obtain work authorization and Social Security cards. The program has had widespread support because recipients were children when they were brought to the United States, and this country is the only home they have ever known.
Fortunately, this support has allowed DACA to continue (albeit in a restricted manner) in the last three years. After several lawsuits and court injunctions, the Supreme Court finally issued a ruling that said Trump’s attempt to end DACA was unlawful. According to the ruling, the attempt did not adhere to proper administrative procedure.
The Supreme Court ruling, however, was not the ruling that restored DACA. In fact, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf continued to restrict DACA after the Supreme Court’s decision. Fortunately, a federal judge determined that Chad Wolf’s decisions were invalid because he was unlawfully appointed to his position. A month later, the same judge issued an order compelling DHS to return DACA to its Obama-era operations.
As a result, DHS released an update explaining that the agency is now:
- Accepting DACA requests from first-time applicants
- Renewing DACA and employment authorization for two years, rather than one year
Hundreds of thousands of people may now be eligible to apply for DACA for the first time. Although DACA does not currently allow recipients to obtain a green card or citizenship, it is a powerful form of protection against deportation for those who have no other way to secure lawful status.
What’s Next for DACA?
Theoretically, an administration could attempt once again to end DACA using the appropriate processes, but Biden is set to take office in 2021 and has made no mention of advancing Trump’s agenda. In fact, he has promised to try to pass legislation that establishes a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. His ability to accomplish this goal may depend on who controls the Senate, which we will officially find out in January after Georgia’s run-off elections.
Let Us Be Your Trusted Advocates
Are you or a loved one depending on the protection of DACA? At The Law Office of Mana Yegani, our attorney is internationally recognized for her legal skills and successful representation. She is dedicated to helping immigrants obtain the benefits they need and stay safe from deportation. The immigration system is constantly changing, but you can depend on her to stay by your side and fight for your rights and future.