Nearly 650,000 people who were brought to the U.S. as children and who have fully integrated into society are currently enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In 2012, then-president Barack Obama created the program through an executive action meant to shield the so-called “Dreamers” from deportation until Congress could create a path for citizenship.
Recently, a federal district judge in Texas ruled that Mr. Obama lacked the authority to create the program by executive action. He ruled that the creation of DACA in that way violated the Administrative Procedure Act and was therefore unlawful.
As a result, the judge ordered the government to stop approving new DACA applications. Another federal judge had previously ruled that the government must accept renewals and new applications for DACA protection. The more recent judge put most of his orders on hold, saying that the government could still receive the new applications but could not approve them.
“To be clear,” he added, his ruling that DACA was unlawfully created does not require the government to take “any immigration, deportation or criminal action against any DACA recipient.”
Tech companies say that diversity is good for business
Although many people, including President Joe Biden, have great sympathy for DACA recipients and think they should have a path to citizenship, nowhere was that more apparent than in the tech industry.
Spokespeople from Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Adobe all came forward after the recent ruling to urge Congress to protect Dreamers. Google, specifically, said that the DACA protections should be “cemented” into law.
“Dreamers and immigrants make the United States — and Twitter — better,” said a spokesperson for the social media platform.
President Biden has said that he wants to set up a permanent pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and DACA recipients. He vowed to preserve DACA and said his administration would appeal the ruling.
What should DACA recipients do?
At the moment, the ruling is essentially on hold. If you were in the process of renewing your DACA status or applying for DACA for the first time, you should continue that process.
Talk to Yew Immigration Law Group about your situation. Attorney Alison Yew is a certified immigration law specialist, and we have years of experience helping people obtain legal status in the U.S.