The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Programs (DACA), begun in 2012, offers the ability to work legally to some 600,000 undocumented persons who came to the U.S. as children. The Obama-era rule has been under legal attack and a court in Texas ruled the program was illegal and barred the federal government from accepting new applicants, although it permitted existing DACA recipients to continue relying on its protections. The judge stated, however, that the program wasn't properly implemented, and a new regulation was created to alleviate that concern, although it will not address all the court's concerns. The new rule would apply only to DACA renewal requests, not to new applications which are currently on hold pending the litigation. It takes effect on October 31, 2022. The program would continue to grant two years of deportation protection and a two-year work permit for a $495 fee. It will continue to apply only to people who came to the U.S. as children and have continuously lived in the country since 2007. The legality of the entire concept of DACA is still pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing whether the Department of Homeland Security has authority to establish broad enforcement exceptions like DACA at all.
On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the ruling that President Obama's program of Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) was illegal. The court ruled that the Obama Administration's 2012 memo creating the policy exceeded its statutory power and violated the Administrative Procedures Act. Since the Biden Administration in August issued a final rule attempting to maintain DACA, the Fifth Circuit opinion allows Dreamers to renew that status while litigation on the issue continues in the district court.
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