The DACA Program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — has been around for a long time. It initially started under President Barack Obama, when his vice president was Joe Biden.
The DACA program continued under the Trump Administration, but it has recently been put into a state of instability because a federal judge ruled that it was not a legal program. Biden is now the president of the United States, so it will be interesting to see what this means for the future of the program and how he handles it.
What is the goal of DACA?
The goal of the program is essentially to protect people from deportation and to allow them to work, if they were brought here as children. In many cases, these children did not know that they were illegally entering the country when their parents brought them here, and they have no ties to their alleged “home” country, since they didn’t live there or can’t remember living there. Deporting them back to these countries that they don’t consider home would be traumatic, so DACA was created to make sure that couldn’t happen.
Where does this leave those in the program?
The ruling that this is illegal means that new people are not allowed to apply to the program. However, those more than 600,000 people who are already in it are still allowed to renew their work permits and will not be deported at this time.
What comes next?
The future of the program is unclear. At this point, reports indicate that the Biden Administration will probably challenge the judge’s ruling. This could mean that the case goes to the Supreme Court, where they will get to rule on the legality.
Additionally, the administration is working on a bill that would accomplish some of the same goals. If they can get it passed into law, those within the DACA program would also be covered under this new bill, so it wouldn’t matter as much if that program was eliminated. It remains to be seen if this new bill will come together smoothly and will be passed.
This is a complicated time for many immigrants, so it’s very important for them to understand all of their legal rights and options.