People demonstrated in June 2020, in Los Angeles in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. Immigrant rights activists hailed a recent court ruling that allows new applications and saw this as a huge victory for those people waiting to apply for DACA for the first time.
Back to Normalcy?
A federal judge reversed the Trump administration’s restrictive rules placing limits on the Obama-program that shields illegal immigrants who entered the country as children, from deportation. U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn instructed the Department of Homeland Security to accept new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Garaufis ruled that the terms of the federal program must be immediately restored prior to the possible rescission of Sept. 2017 when the White House began dismantling the program. The judge instructed officials to fix 2-year permits for all qualifying applicants as the administration had begun issuing 1 year permits. DACA protects around 640,000 undocumented youth immigrants and approximately 300,000 youngsters living in America are eligible for the program, waiting for a chance to apply. That includes the 55,000 aged into eligibility over the last 3 years.
Acting DHS Secretary Lacks Authority To Stop DACA Program, Judge Rules
The ruling is a massive victory for people waiting to apply for DACA for the first time. Chad Wolf, the acting DHS Secretary’s decision to stop the program was seen an attempt by the Donald Trump administration to create extremely anti-immigrant and racist policies. Judge Garaufis’ call is the latest ruling against this administration as in June 2020, the Supreme Court stopped the administration’s attempt to end DACA in 2017, as the reasoning was arbitrary and capricious. In July 2020, a Maryland federal court ordered the administration to begin accepting new applicants.
Biden’s Views on Immigration
Just 11 days later, Wolf cut renewal permits from two years to one and blocked all new applications, prompting a Garaufis ruling in November, saying that Wolf was illegally serving as DHS acting secretary when the changes were made as the DHS failed to follow its order of succession, as designated under the Homeland Security Act, resulting in Garaufis vacating changes initiated by Wolf. Wolf served as acting secretary since November 2019 and was not confirmed by the Senate. Kirstjen Nielsen (resigned as of April 2019), was the DHS secretary to be last confirmed by the members of Senate. Court documents ordered DHS to post a public notice prominently on its website / websites of other relevant agencies, about accepting first-time requests for deferred action under DACA.
DACA Hearings at the United States Supreme Court
A DHS spokesperson named Chase Jennings, criticized the recent order but said that DHS would comply with it, pending an appeal. The pre-requisites for DACA eligibility are: having no prior serious criminal conviction, arriving at the US border/territory before the age 16, residing in the country since 2007 or before and earning an American high school diploma, a GED or serving honourably in the military. DACA does not allow beneficiaries to adjust their status and obtain lawful permanent residency. Trump’s administration waged a year-long court battle to end DACA and rejected legislative proposals to secure U.S. citizenship.