The Biden administration on Monday took steps to revamp a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) proposal after a July ruling prohibited the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from granting new requests.
DACA, which protects over 600,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, has been bogged down in legal cases since its inception in 2012, and the rule would fortify the program against future litigation.
The proposed rule will now go through a 60-day public comment period.
A judge from the southern district of Texas in July sided with DACA opponents who argued the 2012 Obama policy was unconstitutional.
District Judge Andrew Hanen found the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it was created but said that since there were so many people currently enrolled in the program - nearly 650,000 - his ruling would be temporarily stayed for their cases until further court rulings in the case.
The new rule comes as Biden is taking heat from all sides for his immigration agenda. Last week nearly 17,000 Haitians, many spurred by a perception that his administration would be kind to them
DACA, which protects over 600,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, has been bogged down in legal cases since its inception in 2012, and the rule would fortify the program against future litigation
Over 600,000 recipients benefit from the DACA program
'To be clear,' the judge said, the order does not require the government to take 'any immigration, deportation or criminal action against any DACA recipient.'
The judge had said the program did not elicit feedback from the public or consider its effect on states.
His ruling shut down the program for new recipients - who also weren't able to apply for much of the Trump administration.
The Justice Department earlier this month appealed the ruling.
Monday's new rule not only seeks public comment but allows time for an in-depth legal justification of the program.
Biden issued a memorandum on his first day in office directing the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to take 'all actions he deems appropriate' to 'preserve and fortify' the program, which former President Trump tried to end.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year blocked a bid by Trump to end DACA, saying that his administration had done so in an 'arbitrary and capricious' manner.
In a statement on the new rule, DHS said it 'embraces the consistent judgement that has been maintained by the Department—and by three presidential administrations since the policy first was announced—that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal.'
However, the department stressed that Congress still needed to act on permanent legislation.
'Only Congress can provide permanent protection' for Dreamers, DHS said.
The new rule would operate largely the same as the 2012 one, offering two years' protection from deportation and a two year work permit for those who arrived as children before 2007 while they were under the age of 16 and can pay a $495 fee.
Earlier this month, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that Democrats cannot include immigration legislation in their $3.5 trillion social spending bill to be assed through budget reconciliation, meaning that they will now have to court the votes of at least 10 Republicans to move on DACA legislation or a path to citizenship.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10033579/Biden-plans-revamp-DACA-judge-called-Obama-program-unlawful.html767