WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration wants to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and has a new rule to re-establish it after a federal judge stopped new applications in July.
The judge ruled new applications could no longer be accepted because the program was unlawful, in part because Congress should create such a law, not a president.
“The reality is dreamers have been standing on permanent ground for far too long,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
The newly proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security would preserve DACA.
“The rule addresses the DACA policy as announced in the 2012 Napolitano Memorandum and based on longstanding USCIS practice. The rule embraces the consistent judgment that has been maintained by the Department—and by three presidential administrations since the policy first was announced—that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal,” DHS wrote. “DHS welcomes public comments on the proposed rule, including legal and policy considerations, and suggestions for alternative approaches. Following the completion of the public comment period, DHS will review and carefully consider all properly submitted comments before issuing a final rule.”
Lawmakers in both parties say they support dreamers.
“The parents violated the law but I don’t think it’s right to say that the kids violated the law and that’s why I don’t think they should be deported,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
“They’ve lived here for 10 to 15 years — 20 years — they have no status,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said, “so a pathway to citizenship for them, I’m fine with that.”
But the DREAM Act still hasn’t passed 20 years after it was first introduced. Immigration advocates now want Democrats to push through immigration reforms this year with only Democratic support. The Senate parliamentarian recently struck down that idea but Democrats may try again.
“Senate leaders are going back to the parliamentarian with different alternatives including for example not a reform to the whole immigration system but using existing law,” said Marielena Hincapie with the National Immigration Law Center.
One idea is to reset the clock on who qualifies to apply for green cards based on when they arrived in the United States.