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Immigration

DHS releases final DACA rule, allowing 'Dreamers' to access renewable work permits

Since the beginning of the program, DACA has allowed over 800,000 young migrants to remain in the country

Dreamers
Dreamers | Diego G Diaz

August 24, 2022 9:01pm

Updated: August 25, 2022 10:02am

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Wednesday amid several threats of litigation against it. The new rule, scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 30 will allow deferred action arrivals an opportunity to access a renewable, two-year work permit, and is scheduled to go into effect 60 days after publication in late October. 

The DACA program, established in 2012 by the Obama administration, allows undocumented migrants that arrive in the country as minors to live and work in the U.S., creating a pathway to citizenship. The children in the program are more commonly known as Dreamers. 

“Today, we are taking another step to do everything in our power to preserve and fortify DACA, an extraordinary program that has transformed the lives of so many Dreamers,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said.

“Thanks to DACA, we have been enriched by young people who contribute so much to our communities and our country. Yet, we need Congress to pass legislation that provides an enduring solution for the young Dreamers who have known no country other than the United States as their own,” he added.

The new rule will formally replace the 2012 memo issued by the DHS describing the program on October 31 of this year. 

In the ten years that the program has run, the policy has been subjected to several litigations, which often question the validity of implementing such a program through a memo.  

In July 2021, a U.S. District Court Judge of Texas ruled that DACA was illegal because it was not a formal rule. While the ruling did not strip away DACA recipients of their benefits, it prevented new ones from signing up for the program. 

However, with the final DACA rule in place, the Biden administration will be able to accept new applicants. 

Since the beginning of the program, DACA has allowed over 800,000 young people to remain in the country.

“Across the country, DACA recipients are doctors and nurses, working to ensure the health and safety of Americans; they are teachers, striving to give back to younger generations; they are members of our military serving to protect our country; they are our neighbors, friends, and family,” reads the DHS statement.