Washington, D.C. – Today, the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which will be published August 30 and go into effect October 31. This final rule does not impact the status of current DACA recipients who may continue to renew. This final rule also does not expand eligibility, or re-open DACA for first time applicants, including processing applications for the nearly 80,000 first time applicants who are awaiting a decision on their cases.
While this rule doesn’t go far enough by failing to expand the eligibility to more people, the unapologetic organizing efforts of immigrant youth and our allies during the comment period led to ensuring work permits were not decoupled from the protections from deportation as originally proposed.
Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, Deputy Director of Federal Advocacy for United We Dream, said:
“This final DACA rule changes nothing for current DACA recipients, the roughly 80,000 young people who applied and had their applications frozen, and the hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people who were never able to apply for DACA in the first place. Our opponents aren’t shy about their intent to detain and deport immigrants, and we needed the Biden administration to take bold protective action to meet the urgency of this moment. President Biden campaigned on strengthening and fortifying DACA. This final DACA rule fails to strengthen the program by not expanding it to include the majority of undocumented immigrant youth who are graduating from high school this year and not eligible for the program because of arbitrary cut-off dates.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to rule any day now on the legality of the DACA program and this rule does not bring us any closer to seeing true protection for DACA recipients and immigrant youth. While Congress must pass permanent protections for all, President Biden cannot hide behind the courts or Congress, he can take bold action now.”