Final Rule For Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program Released
In today’s blog, we are breaking down the final rule the Department of Homeland Security has passed on the DACA program.
The Department of Homeland Security has recently announced a final rule in the Federal Register to safeguard the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The purpose of this rule is to codify the existing policy and preserve and reinforce DACA. Though the case to uphold DACA is still in court, the final rule is effective from October 31, 2022.
The final rule affirms the following main points:
-For current DACA recipients, their deferred action, employment authorization, and advance parole will continue to be recognized as valid.
-DACA recipients are considered “lawfully present” for certain purposes while DACA is not a form of lawful status.
-To eligible non-citizens, who clear all public safety and national security vetting, and are found to merit a favorable exercise of discretion, deferred action may be granted. They can obtain renewable two-year work authorization. But the department under current litigation is unable to grant deferred action to new DACA recipients.
This means that renewal applications for DACA requests will be processed by the U.S. Citizenship, and Immigration Services (USCIS). The governing bodies will also be accepting requests for employment authorization (EAD) consistent with court orders and an ongoing partial stay. The enforcement of this final rule makes the valid grants of DACA, related employment authorization, and advance parole lawful. The applicants with pending DACA renewal applications will not have to reapply.
The applications for advance parole for current DACA recipients will be accepted and processed by the USCIS. However, initial DACA requests will be accepted but not processed.
DHS is restricted from granting initial DACA requests and related employment authorization under the final rule in compliance with an injunction and partial stay, handed down by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
This Final Rule is a temporary measure to safeguard the existing DACA benefits but a statement by Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security reflects Congress’s aim to permanently protect the dreams of the program applicants by passing urgent legislation.
The government’s stance is further reflected in the statement by the Director of the USCIS who states that though the court has restricted the processing of initial applications for the DACA program, the body will continue to process the renewal applications to continue the protection given to the DACA recipients in the form of this final rule. She further explains the will of USCIS to strengthen the DACA program by implementing the final rule.
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