FWD.us Statement on DACA Rulemaking Response

Today, the Department of Homeland Security posted its final rule on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy after the Biden Administration announced last September that it would seek to “preserve and fortify” DACA through a period of proposed rulemaking. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement in response:

“To start, we want to communicate to DACA recipients and their families what this news does and does not mean, with a note of caution given the misleading information circulating.

“Here are a few critical items of note for DACA recipients:

“First – today’s rule does not go into effect right away, so DACA recipients should understand that nothing changes for them right now. Not only is there a 60-day period before enactment, but it is entirely possible—if not likely—that there will be efforts to stop enactment via new or existing litigation.

“Second – despite this rule, the DACA policy remains in severe jeopardy as we wait for a decision—likely to be negative—from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on the legality of the policy. If the DACA policy is ended, an average of 5,000 DACA recipients every single week over the next two years will fall out of status, be pushed out of the workforce, and become vulnerable to deportation. Given this fact, it is absolutely critical for current DACA recipients to seek renewals as soon as they are eligible and consult with a lawyer about their options.

“Third – even if this rule goes into effect, it would not allow new DACA applicants to apply, as they are still barred by an injunction, nor does it update the outdated eligibility criteria for who could apply for DACA. This bars hundreds of thousands of people from applying for DACA protections.”

“As to the specifics of the rule and the path forward for policymakers:

“We want to thank and congratulate the many thousands who of people who made their voices heard by filing formal comments to ensure that DACA remained true to its intent as a program that provides both work authorization and protections from deportation, and we are grateful that the Administration is no longer pursuing a plan to de-couple and separate work authorization and deportation protections. Work authorization provided under the DACA policy is vital to its success – it has enabled more than three-quarters of DACA recipients to participate more fully in the labor force, provide for their families, enrich their communities, and contribute an estimated $11.7 billion to the U.S economy each year. Providing work authorization as part of DACA is the right move.

“Unfortunately, the DACA policy is currently facing its greatest existential threat to-date in the courts, and this threat will remain. Moreover, today’s rule cannot provide the permanent protections that DACA recipients and their families deserve and have awaited for over the last decade.

“The most important thing to understand is that the ability of nearly 700,000 Dreamers’ ability to live in the U.S. and work legally without daily fear of deportation is under severe threat — and Congress must act urgently to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect Dreamers in 2022.”

Read more here: What Happens If DACA Ends

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