This Monday The deadline for commenting on the new regulations of the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expires, that would give greater security and protections to some 700,000 undocumented young people who entered the country before the age of 16 and are known as dreamers.
The rule was published in the Federal Register – America’s official gazette – in September and allowed 60 days for public comment. At the end of this time, the government will consider the opinions sent and will prepare the final regulations.
DACA was approved in June 2012 by then-President Barack Obama due to the inaction of Congress in the immigration reform debate. The program grants a renewable deportation protection every two years to low priority deportation dreamers, in addition to giving them an employment authorization, also renewable for the same period of time.
Why a new regulation for DACA
The new regulation was published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the opportunity to improve it and comply with all the steps stipulated by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), including the opening of public comment and its inclusion. in the final regulation (RFI). That was precisely an argument used by Republicans in court to stop the program.
The new program proposed by the Joe Biden administration not only codifies the original policy included in a June 2012 memorandum signed by then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, but also restart some guidelines to streamline the program renewal process.
The new program, consistent with the original, classifies the definition of “deferred action” as “a temporary stay of deportation that does not confer any right or right to remain or re-enter the United States,” and does not prevent DHS from initiating any action. criminal or enforcement action against a DACA recipient at any time. “
As the original program points out, the new one stipulates that beneficiaries do not accumulate unlawful presence for deportation purposes, but recommends that employment authorization for deported dreamers be optional.
“DACA applicants would not be required to submit Forms I-765 and I-765WS (application for work permit) along with their Form I-821D (application for DACA enrollment),” the new program notes.
“The proposed rule would not make major changes to the existing deferred action program for newcomers (DACA). Instead, the 205-page rule is an effort to bulletproof the existing program from litigation, “says Stephen Yale Loehr, professor of immigration practice at Cornell University School of Law, New York. .
Yale-Loehr recalled that in July “a federal district judge in Texas ruled that the DACA program, initiated in 2012 by then-President Obama through executive action, violated the Rules of Administrative Procedure (APA).” And that the new program designed by the Biden government “fixes the problems.”
“The DHS proposed rule becomes more important now that the Senate ‘parliamentarian’ has twice ruled that legalization provisions for DACA recipients cannot be included in the budget reconciliation bill,” he added.
“While Democrats will try to find other ways to provide a path of legalization for Dreamers, the proposed rule could be a temporary safety net if the legislation fails,” he said.
After the deadline for public comment, DHS will need to review them and issue a final rule. “This process could take several months before this rule takes effect”Yale-Loehr said.