What is the current status of the DACA program?

| Dec 16, 2020 | US Immigration Law

A large number of undocumented immigrants living in Texas could soon become eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A recent judge’s ruling that orders the restoration of the DACA program to its 2017 status reopened program eligibility.

DACA explained

The DACA program became an official part of immigration law through a 2012 executive order signed by former President Barack Obama. The program protects immigrants who were brought illegally into America as children from deportation. DACA also allows these immigrants to work legally in the U.S.

Attack on DACA

The Trump administration attempted to rescind DACA in 2017. This move sent fear and uncertainty through immigrant communities. For the most part, the administration did not possess much power to affect the lives of 800,000 “Dreamers” already enjoying DACA protections. But they were able to stop the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from accepting new applications.

The current ruling

A United States district judge declared it mandatory for Homeland Security to renew the processing of first-time DACA applications. The DHS must also make it known to the public that they are accepting new DACA applications.

Qualified applicants include any undocumented immigrant who was under 16 years of age when brought into the country. The applicants must also have been 30 years old or younger in June of 2012. DACA does not provide applicants with a clear path to citizenship. Applicants must reapply for DACA protections every two years.

Immigration law in America is a complex process that is in a constant state of change. These conditions can make it difficult for immigrant families to navigate the immigration process on their own. Immigrants with questions regarding immigration regulations or their status may find the answers they need by reaching out to an immigration attorney.