DACA Updates and Recent News

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains a pivotal yet contentious topic in U.S. immigration policy. Despite ongoing challenges, it remains a lifeline for many young immigrants.

Recent Developments

  • Biden Administration’s Initiatives:
    President Biden has introduced several new measures to support DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants. One key initiative allows undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens who have lived in the U.S. for at least ten years to apply for lawful permanent residence without leaving the country. This policy helps keep families together and strengthens the U.S. economy by providing stability and work authorization for eligible individuals (White House, UPI).
  • Legal Battles:
    The legal status of DACA remains in flux. In September 2023, a federal judge in Texas ruled the DACA Final Rule unlawful but allowed current recipients to retain their status. This ruling underscores the ongoing legal uncertainties and the critical need for a legislative solution (Department of Homeland Security, Yahoo News).
  • Healthcare Access:
    DACA recipients and other legally present immigrants who may qualify for Medicaid and CHIP but are subject to certain eligibility restrictions are now eligible for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This is a significant policy shift that aims to provide affordable and quality health insurance to more individuals within this group, reflecting the administration’s commitment to supporting Dreamers (White House).
  • Call for Legislative Action:
    President Biden continues to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to provide permanent protection for Dreamers. While executive actions can offer temporary relief, only legislative changes can ensure long-term stability and security for DACA recipients and their families (White House, UPI).

These updates highlight the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to support Dreamers and improve the immigration system. However, the future of DACA still hinges on broader legislative reforms. You can visit the White House and UPI for more detailed information on these recent developments.

The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program has been frequently mentioned in the news in recent years, but staying informed about the changes can be challenging. The DACA program is not established by settled immigration law, so federal judges can repeatedly halt and restart it. Until Congress ultimately passes legislation to make this program permanent, it’s important to seek advice from an experienced DACA immigration attorney to understand the latest developments regarding DACA and how your specific circumstances comply with the current rules.

As of July 16, 2021, a Federal District Court in Texas has put the brakes on new DACA applications—sort of. While the legal battle is sorting itself out, the USCIS is still allowed to accept new DACA applications, but they will not grant any new DACA requests filed after July 16, 2021, until they get the green light from the Federal Courts. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice—part of the Executive Branch under the President—are working to appeal the Texas Judge’s decision.

USCIS is still accepting and processing DACA and work permit renewals.

Initial DACA applications are based on seven criteria:

  1. You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. You came to the USA before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. You have continuously resided in the USA since June 15, 2007, and up to the present time;
  4. You were physically present in the USA on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for DACA;
  5. You had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012 (which might mean that you entered the country unlawfully or that you used to have status but it expired before that date);
  6. You are currently in school, or you graduated high school, or you obtained a GED, or you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, and
  7. You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and you are not a security threat to the USA.

If you think you or a loved one may qualify for DACA or want to help renew your application, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation with Seth Lupton to learn the next steps you can take. To stay updated on the latest DACA updates for Dreamers in Lancaster and to understand how the policy changes affect all Pennsylvania immigrants, please bookmark this page and contact our immigration law firm today. This page may not always show the most recent developments, so we suggest you speak to a legal professional for up-to-date information.

– [White House – FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Keep Families Together]
– [UPI – Biden administration announces protection for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens]
– [Department of Homeland Security – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)]