For over a decade, DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands who were brought to the U.S. as children to work and live in the country without fear of deportation. But the program does not provide them permanent residency, a status only Congress can grant. As of September 2022, 589,660 young adults were enrolled in DACA.
Those enrolled in DACA had to pass background checks and satisfy several eligibility requirements, including proving that they arrived in the U.S. by age 16 and before June 2007, studied in a U.S. school or served in the military, and lacked any serious criminal record.
Two-thirds of the immigrants enrolled in DACA are between the ages of 21 and 30, and 81% were born in Mexico, according to government data. The other top countries of origin for DACA beneficiaries include El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and South Korea.
Nine states asked a federal judge in late January to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in its entirety over two years, a move that would prevent the nearly 600,000 immigrants known as “Dreamers” from renewing their deportation protections and work permits.
The request from the coalition of states represents the most pressing legal threat facing the program, which has continued to this day. At the center of the request are rules the current US Administration issued to place DACA on firmer legal grounds by transforming the program into a federal regulation.
At the request of the same group of states, the 2012 DACA memo was ruled unlawful in the summer of 2021. The ruling, which was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, has blocked the government from approving first-time DACA applications, but it also has allowed current DACA recipients to continue renewing their enrollment in the program.
A ruling that shuts down DACA or declares the program illegal would likely be appealed to the 5th Circuit by the Biden administration, and the case could ultimately reach the Supreme Court.
The states have argued that DACA is an illegal overreach of executive power, and that only Congress has the authority to grant unauthorized immigrants federal benefits.
Are you or a loved one potentially affected by the proposed ruling for DACA? It is more important now than ever to have adequate representation for you and your loved ones. Call us today for a consultation.
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