DACA’s immigration policy in the United States marks 10 years with a uncertain future

Umaar Ehsan is a recent graduate of Harvard University. He is from Pakistan but grew up in Fairfax, Virginia.

He does not have a permanent residence. He is also not a US citizen. He is the recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy established in 2012 by the Obama administration.

On Wednesday, DACA celebrates its 10th anniversary. At that time, according to the Migration Policy Institute, more than 800,000 people benefited from DACA, which enables recipients to work and go to school in the United States.

“The consequences of DACA extend beyond immigration policy and into American society,” Ehsan wrote in a recent letter to President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

Ehsan’s father worked for the Pakistani embassy, ​​which allowed the family to move to the United States in 1995, Ehsan told VOA.

“But eight years later, his term of office would expire and it became our duty to return to Pakistan,” Ehsan explained in a letter to the White House. “But there was one problem: This magical place called America offered too much to lose. My father decided to lean on the uncertainty, stay ahead of the election period and chose to become “undocumented”. This meant that our main task was to survive. “

Ehsan is one of the 611,470 individuals currently holding DACA status under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the country’s citizenship and immigration system.

However, the study does not provide a way to permanent residence or US citizenship.


Since its inception in 2012, DACA has been the subject of numerous court cases. Former President Donald Trump tried to end the program in 2017, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the court on the basis of procedure.

And it faces a court challenge again. On July 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a Texas lawsuit challenging DACA’s legitimacy.

Police were under the control of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and state prosecutors from Arkansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Louisiana, West Virginia and South Carolina participated in the case. On July 16, 2021, the U.S. District Court for South Texas ruled that DACA was illegal.

“This lawsuit was about the rule of law – not the rationale behind any immigration policy,” Paxton said of the victory. “The district court acknowledged that only the parliament has the authority to write immigration laws and the president is not free to disregard them. correctly set the law as he sees fit. “

The court ruling and the permanent injunction prevented the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from approving applications for the first time as of July 16, 2021. However, DHS may continue to accept applications.

Current DACA recipients are still protected from deportation and may work. Recipients must renew their DACA requests every two years, and USCIS continues to process requests for those that meet the original requirements and have not left the country since their last renewal.

Who are the DACA holders?

President Barack Obama, frustrated by Congress’ inaction on the dream law, created the DACA with an executive order in 2012. If passed, the dream law would have allowed U.S. citizenship for DACA holders as well as Dreamers, a group of people who can not apply for DACA protection due to age restrictions but call themselves Dreamers after the legislation passed in 2001.

Some DACA recipients came legally, but their families later withdrew their visas; others arrived by crossing the border between Mexico and the United States without permission. They are now in their mid-twenties to late thirties and come from all over the world.

To qualify for the DACA program, applicants must be enrolled in high school, have a GED or a diploma, or have served in the United States military. Those with a criminal record – a fine, a felony or three misdemeanors – are not eligible for DACA. They were also required to be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012, have moved to the United States before reaching the age of 16, and have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007.

The future of DACA

DACA was intended to be temporary, to allow the parliament time to pass the dream law. Yet 10 years later, it has enabled recipients to buy homes, secure higher-paying jobs and earn college degrees. The Migration Policy Institute’s analysis found that DACA’s owners contributed nearly $ 42 billion to US GDP each year, adding $ 3.4 billion to the federal balance sheet.

Following the Texas decision, DHS Secretary General Alejandro Mayorkas announced the proposed DACA rule to keep the program under federal regulation.

The government is expected to issue a final DACA rule in the coming months, but immigration spokesmen have said it will also face legal challenges.

Unless the parliament intervenes with a legislative solution, it is likely that the final legitimacy of the DACA will end up again before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Ehsan said that DACA enabled him to be part of American society. Reflecting on his own experience, he believes that America was founded by people who – like him – also had dreams and big ideas.

“Although I have not heard a response from the White House, I am hopeful of that conclusion [for immigration reform] will become a reality during this presidency, “Ehsan told VOA.

DACA’s immigration policy in the United States marks 10 years with a uncertain future

Source link DACA’s immigration policy in the United States marks 10 years with a uncertain future

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