Federal Court Ruling Threatens the DACA Program
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Federal Court Ruling Threatens the DACA Program

Posted on in Immigration
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Illinois Immigration LawyerThe United States has a complicated history with undocumented immigrants or those who come to the U.S. without lawful immigration status. Many undocumented immigrants are at risk of removal or deportation, but in recent years, the Obama and Biden administrations have attempted to provide protections for some, including through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, a recent ruling from a federal judge in Texas has called the future of this program into question.

What is the DACA Program?

The DACA program, established by an executive directive from President Obama in 2012, allows certain undocumented immigrants to apply for the deferment of removal proceedings that may be initiated against them. Since the start of the program, applicants have been required to demonstrate that they meet certain criteria. For example:

  • Applicants must have come to the U.S. before their 16th birthday and resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.

  • Applicants must have been under the age of 31 and physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, the program’s start date. They also must be physically present in the U.S. at the time of their application.

  • Applicants must be current students, high school graduates, GED recipients, or honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. military.

  • Applicants must have a record free of felony convictions and significant misdemeanor convictions, and they must be deemed not to be a threat to public safety or national security.

Effects of the Recent Federal Court Ruling

This month, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the creation of the DACA program in 2012 was an unlawful overstep of presidential authority. Along with his ruling, the judge issued an injunction stopping the approval of new DACA applications by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Notably, the judge’s order has not removed protections for those who already have them, but it does present a sizable hurdle for those seeking protection in the foreseeable future.

President Biden has signified his administration’s intent to appeal the ruling, and he has also proposed legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for those with DACA protections. However, unless this legislation or a similar bill passes, the future of the DACA program will likely remain in question.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Attorney

At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we know that this is a challenging and uncertain time for many immigrants in the United States. If you have questions about your DACA status, or if you need defense representation in a removal proceeding, we can help. Contact us at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation with an experienced Illinois immigration lawyer today.






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