Biden Administration Preserves DACA

On his first day of office, President Joe Biden signed a presidential memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) – in consultation with the Attorney General – to take actions preserving and fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from deportation and provides them with work permits. Since being introduced in 2012 under the Obama administration, there are currently more than 700,000 people enrolled in the program.

DACA has been in limbo since 2017, after President Trump attempted to end the program. However, a legal challenge against the move led to the Supreme Court ruling in June 2020 that the program should be kept in place since the former administration failed to take the necessary steps – in accordance with federal law – to terminate DACA.

On November 14, 2020, an order by a U.S. district court issued an order that required the DHS to reinstate the DACA policy that was previously in effect on September 4, 2017. Then on December 4, a federal judge ordered the agency to start accepting new applications and renewal requests for the program, as well as extend the one-year grants of deferred action and work authorization under DACA to two years.

As part of a sweeping immigration overhaul, President Biden sent a bill to Congress on January 22, 2021, which includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Under the legislation, DACA recipients – as well as individuals with temporary protective status and undocumented immigrants – automatically qualify for green cards if they are working, enrolled in school, and meet other requirements. From there, they may apply for U.S. citizenship after three years.

If you are interested in applying for DACA or renewing your protections in Chicago, contact Milla & Associates, LLC today at (312) 702-1782. Ready to help you achieve the American dream!