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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Update

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This policy applies to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or have been enlisted in the military. DACA provided young people who passed a background check and application process with temporary work permits and protection from deportation.

DACA recipients qualify for work authorization and may remain in the U.S. as long as they apply for the two-year extension. DACA also applies to those whose parents have maintained legal status in the country. Young illegal immigrants have issues with obtaining citizenship because the parent’s visas either don’t provide pathways to citizenship or have long waits for green cards, without which they can’t confer ongoing status to their children.

This policy was created by former president Obama in 2012. More than 640,000 immigrants have been enrolled.

Once president Trump came into office, he called DACA an “illegal amnesty” and went through many legal battles to end it due to the fact that Obama enacted the policy without congressional approval. Courts blocked Trump from stifling DACA and eventually he ended the policy in 2017.

On June 26, 2020, the Supreme Court decision to end DACA was 5-4, due to the fact that the Supreme Court is 6-3 conservatice-democrat. Roberts was the only Supreme Court conservative judge who believes DACA is lawful.

As far as the future of DACA, president elect Joe Biden plans on reinstating DACA. In order to do this, he plans to explore legal options to protect families from separation. Biden also wants to ensure that DACA recipients or “Dreamers” are eligible for federal student aid and have access to community colleges without debt. This plan, if put into place, would create a pathway for citizenship for around two million Dreamers.

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