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Federal Court Declares DACA Illegal But Maintains Program

By October 10, 2022October 25th, 2022No Comments

On October 5th, 2022, a federal appeals court upheld the legality of the DACA program as determined by a lower court in 2021 stating that the policy violates United States immigration policies. However, the three-judge panel let current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to renew their status, thereby maintaining the program’s status but casting doubt on its future. Despite their decision, the appeals court chose to uphold a ruling from United States Judge, Andrew Hanen, which kept the policy in place for current recipients rather than ordering the Biden administration to entirely halt DACA or cease processing renewal applications. However, the government will still be unable to approve DACA applications that are being submitted for the first time.

Many people, including Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas are deeply disappointed by Wednesday’s court decision because the decision creates and increases uncertainty for families and communities throughout the country. The Department of Homeland Security explained that they will continue to process DACA renewal cases and help with the maintenance of the program.

Although DACA recipients are not eligible for citizenship or permanent legal status, the program gives them the freedom to live and work here lawfully without worrying about being deported. Participants in DACA had to show proof that they entered the country before the age of sixteen and before June of 2007, proof that they attended a U.S. school or served in the military, were unmarried, and had no significant criminal histories. The court’s decision might give Congress new impetus to approve legislation putting program participants on the path to citizenship, a plan that has strong bipartisan support among lawmakers and the American public.

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