US President Joe Biden Aims to Save Obama-Era Policy DACA

© AP Photo / Evan VucciVice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama react after a heckler is removed from the East Room of the White House.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama react after a heckler is removed from the East Room of the White House. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.09.2021
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US President Joe Biden plans to revitalize Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, an Obama-era memo, by shoring up its legal status.
The policy was initially established in June of 2012, in an attempt to defer the removal of non-citizens who came to the United States illegally as minors. The Biden administration plans to create a rule that would recreate the Obama-era policy that allows for individuals who came to the United States unlawfully as children to receive deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit.
To be eligible for the proposed version of DACA, individuals need to have arrived in the US before turning 16, have continuously lived in the US since June 15, 2007, are in school or graduated, have no felony convictions, and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
From DACA’s inception in 2012, it has faced legal challenges. The Trump administration tried to terminate the program in 2017 but was thwarted by the Supreme Court. The policy was suspended this July when District Judge Andrew Hanen found the policy was illegal and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. However, due to the nearly 650,000 people enrolled in the program, the ruling has been temporarily stayed to allow for further court rulings.
A key part of Judge Hanen’s decision was that the Obama-era policy did not elicit feedback from the public. Part of the Biden administration’s revitalization plan is to send the policy through a 60-day public comments period.
The Biden administration admits that the long-term viability of DACA relies on Congress passing legislation to provide permanent protection and determine a route to citizenship.
Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that Democrats cannot include immigration legislation, to be passed through budget reconciliation, in their proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill. Without the lifeline of budget reconciliation, Democrats will need to convince 10 Republicans in the Senate.
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