On Wednesday, the Biden Administration released a final rule "fortifying" the Obama-era deportation amnesty known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which remains in legal limbo.
The new regulation will take effect on October 31, 2022, and is designed to protect the DACA amnesty by codifying the program and replacing the original 2012 memo President Obama used to create it.
The DACA amnesty currently rewards more than 600,000 illegal aliens with protection from deportation and work permits.
President Biden stated on the matter:
Today, we are fulfilling our commitment to preserve and strengthen DACA by finalizing a rule that will reinforce protections, like work authorization, that allow Dreamers to live more freely and to invest in their communities more fully.
I will do everything within my power to protect Dreamers, but Congressional Republicans should stop blocking a bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. It is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do for our economy and our communities.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a notable long-time supporter of massive amnesties for illegal aliens, was quick to extoll the regulatory move by DHS, stating:
[The new regulation provides] some stability to DACA recipients and make[s] it more difficult for a future administration to rescind DACA, which is a lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
However, this rule cannot provide permanent legal status or fully protect DACA recipients from relentless Republican legal challenges to the program. Only Congress can protect them.
The Senator's comments fail to mention the fact that the program was created by executive order, a fiat that historically could be undone by another executive order.
This new rule was still not enough for some proponents of mass amnesty, who expressed anger that Biden did not go far enough by choosing to keep the same admittance criteria from when the program was initially created.
For example, Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, deputy director of federal advocacy for United We Dream, stated:
This final DACA rule fails to strengthen the program by not expanding it to include the majority of undocumented immigrant youth who are graduating from high school this year and not eligible for the program because of arbitrary cut-off dates.
While Congress must pass permanent protections for all, President Biden cannot hide behind the courts or Congress. He can take bold action now.
Despite all this, the future of the DACA amnesty remains uncertain in the courts after years of legal battles. This includes the attempt made by President Trump to end the program by executive order; the Supreme Court halted that attempt on simple grounds that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
Conversely, the Biden Administration still cannot approve new applications for DACA after an injunction issued by a District Court. A decision on the legality of the program is expected by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals soon. DHS specified that the new rule would only apply to DACA renewal requests, as the injunction is still in place.
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Updated: Tue, Sep 27th 2022 @ 1:59pm EDT