(Washington)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is calling on the Biden administration to meaningfully fortify the DACA program, as promised by President Biden. Today, the federal government published a new DACA rule, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to accept and process DACA renewal applications. However, the administration’s new rule represents yet another missed opportunity to protect immigrant communities. The administration's failure to expand DACA eligibility to include all immigrant youth who entered the U.S. after June 2007 is disappointing. The administration is also keeping intact eligibility disqualifications for certain immigrant youth who have had contact with the criminal legal system – despite how these communities are subject to biased policing practices, racial profiling and over-policing.
“Our communities have waited for decades for congressional action on immigration, and our hearts have been broken too many times. For the Biden administration to tell us to wait for Congress to act is frankly not enough – it's not an option,” said ILRC Staff Attorney Veronica Garcia. “The rule published today enshrines existing exclusions for thousands of immigrant youth who should be able to access the protections DACA provides. For example, the rule leaves out youth who came to the U.S. after 2012 and maintains automatic disqualifications for certain youth who may have had contact with the criminal legal system.”
“We certainly hope the Biden administration has a plan in place once the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issues its decision on whether to uphold a lower court’s ruling that struck down the program,” Garcia added. “DACA has helped hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth share their talents with their communities and their futures should be filled with hope, not with dread and uncertainty.”
The ILRC is demanding that the Biden Administration:
- Expand the program to include all youth who entered the US after June 2007;
- Eliminate automatic disqualifications that exclude certain youth who have had contact with the criminal legal system from accessing DACA; and,
- Ensure that current DACA recipients and their family members are not subject to immigration enforcement, detention or deportation from the U.S.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us at www.ilrc.org, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC