In 2012, former President Barack Obama created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects immigrants from deportation if they entered the country illegally as minors. Former President Donald Trump made a strict stance on immigration a major cornerstone of his policy and tried to effectively end DACA during his term. Despite suffering several losses in court, opponents of DACA have continued the efforts begun by Trump. However, recent changes to the presidential administration have given “dreamers” cause for hope in their pursuit of legal immigration.
Read on to learn more about the current status of DACA, then contact the immigration attorneys at Tsigler Law today to discuss your eligibility for this program.
Supreme Court Orders Protection for DACA Recipients
Over the last year, great advancement was made toward this cause as significant legislation has been passed with the express purpose of protecting minors in the DACA program. This past summer, the Supreme Court rejected the attempt to unilaterally terminate DACA without adhering to the appropriate legal procedures. On December 4th of 2020, a New York federal court judge officially ordered the complete reinstatement of DACA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This requires processing requests for individuals who were eligible for this program but unable to apply before it was suspended in September 2017 and individuals who applied after the Supreme Court’s decision but were rejected.
Applications for DACA Now Being Processed
As a result of this recent mandate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an announcement on its website that it is now beginning to accept new applications for the DACA program and advance existing applications submitted by current DACA recipients. This legislation ordered that the USCIS must now process applications in line with the original 2012 program requirements, as well as outlining additional stipulations. All DACA granted that were issued to cover timeframes of one to two years must be automatically extended. USCIS will process Advance Parole requests for any DACA recipient who can effectively validate their necessity to travel on employment, educational, or humanitarian grounds.
Currently, an individual is considered eligible for DACA if they meet the following criteria:
- -Date of birth after June 15th, 1981
- -Migrated to the U.S. before experiencing their 16th birthday
- -Physically present in the country on the date of June 15th, 2021, and when applying for DACA
- -Held no lawful status on June 15th, 2012, the date DACA was originally announced
- -Have resided continuously in the country between June 15th, 2007 and the present date
- -Adhere to specific educational requirements or received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military
- -Have not obtained a conviction for particular crimes
State Backlash to Immigration Reform
If one thing is a constant theme in immigration policy, it is the trend that for every step forward in the name of progress and equal opportunities, there will be a corresponding step backward initiated by opponents. On December 22nd, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen heard arguments from a partnership of several states, spearheaded by Texas, claiming that the creation of DACA in 2012 demonstrated an overstep in authority on the part of Obama. This partnership contends that if DACA is allowed to remain, irreparable harm will result due to the additional costs needed for providing DACA recipients with education, healthcare, and protection by law enforcement.
Recent DACA Statistics
According to statistical data collected by the federal government in June, the number of DACA beneficiaries in the U.S. totals 645,000, with over 100,000 residing in Texas alone. As the nation continues to grapple with the global COVID-19 pandemic, DACA recipients have pulled together alongside U.S. citizens to combat this unprecedented health crisis. The Center for American Progress found that over 200,000 DACA recipients are currently serving as frontline workers during the pandemic, including almost 30,000 employed in the healthcare industry.
New Administration Brings Hope for the Future
To confront the xenophobic furor stoked over the past four years and tackle one of the many immigration issues that have resulted, recently inducted President Joe Biden considers immigration policy reform to be one of the most urgent tasks of his newly formed administration. In fact, on the day he was inaugurated into office, Biden submitted an immigration proposal to the U.S. Congress that includes establishing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing in the country, transforming border security, and concentrating on uncovering and addressing the underlying causes of mass migration to the U.S.
Obtain the Best Results With Your DACA Application
If you believe that you or a loved one is eligible for the DACA program, consult Tsigler Law today. Our expert team of immigration attorneys will answer any of your questions and assist you in properly preparing and filing a DACA request. Check out the testimonials on our website to hear the stories of our loyal clients who received first-rate legal representation from our team to understand why our firm maintains a reputation for excellence. Then contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling (718) 473-9939 or filling out the form online.