Biden Administration Releases Final DACA Rule
August 26, 2022
On Wednesday, the Biden administration released the final version of a rule to codify and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The rule, scheduled to be published on August 30, 2022 in the Federal Register, largely maintains the DACA program as it was created by an Obama-era memo in 2012. The rule should take effect October 31, 2022, presuming no legal challenges are launched against it.
DHS received over 16,000 public comments on the proposed rule that was released in September 2021. Many of these comments urged DHS, who proposed the new rule, to move the required entry date into the United States forward so that younger people who are otherwise eligible for DACA could apply for the program. However, the new rule maintains the requirement that the applicant must have entered the U.S. and resided in the country continuously since June 15, 2007.
In a change from the 2021 proposed rule, the final rule released Wednesday did not follow through with a plan to “decouple” work authorization (the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application) from the principal DACA application. Immigration advocates worried that making the application for work authorization optional would put applicants at risk of losing their work permits while waiting for the USCIS EAD backlog to clear.
Despite the new rule, the DACA program remains under threat in the Fifth Circuit federal appeals court, which could issue a decision on the legality of the program at any time.
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