(Trends Wide) — The Biden administration is taking steps to save a key Obama-era immigration program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation by proposing a new regulation, the latest attempt to preserve it.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created in 2012, has been the subject of ongoing litigation, despite management’s efforts to keep the program alive. It was also under threat during the Trump administration when then-President Donald Trump tried to terminate the program.
DACA, created in 2012, was intended to provide temporary respite for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, a group often described as dreamers or dreamers. Beneficiaries, many of whom are now adults, also receive certain work authorizations.
The Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed regulation, which will go through a public comment period, to begin the process of registering the policy in the Federal Register. Previously, DACA was implemented through a Homeland Security memo.
The proposed rule also comes as the Biden administration struggles with an immigration agenda that has come under intense scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans for the past week amid an influx of arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border that culminated in a migrant camp under a bridge.
For years, Congress has tried, and failed, to pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for this population and therefore gives them permanent protection. In the absence of this legislation, the Obama administration and now the Biden administration have relied on DACA to protect certain undocumented immigrants from deportation.
In July, Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas ruled that DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which dictates what procedures agencies must follow to implement certain policies. He blocked the government from approving new applications for the program, but his order allowed the program to continue for current affiliates while the case is litigated.