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New DACA Rule Not Guaranteed to Go Into Effect, Advocates Warn

This news summary about the future of DACA was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

The Biden administration on Wednesday issued a 453-page regulation that outlines the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Immigrant rights advocates have since broken down what the news means for DACA recipients.

“The most important thing for folks to know is that this regulation changes nothing, both for folks with DACA and for those without it,” explains Karen Tumlin, a civil rights litigator specializing in immigrants’ rights. 

What changes and what doesn’t with this DACA news?: The new regulation is a step toward formalizing the program and protecting it from legal challenges. However, only existing Dreamers would benefit from the rule’s implementation. This is because DACA’s legality is still being challenged by a Texas court case, which blocks new DACA applications. The case is expected to be appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Furthermore, eligibility criteria doesn’t change under the rule, which means that Dreamers who did not benefit from the program when it was implemented in 2012 will still not do so. Eligible DACA recipients qualified for the program’s benefits if they have been in the U.S. since 2007. In other words, many young people turning 16 and have lived their lives in the U.S. are still shut out of the program. 

Other key facts to note from the new regulation: The rule does not expand on who can qualify for work authorization. However, current DACA recipients can renew their application. 

The newly announced regulation is mostly targeted at addressing some of the Republican-led legal challenges against the program. It doesn’t implement key protections advocates have been pushing for, including pathways to citizenship and stability for undocumented communities. 

Advocates are also cautioning that the rule is not guaranteed to go into effect: The rule will not go into effect for 60 days, and it will only do so if litigation doesn’t interfere. 

“Beware of TikTok lawyers and notarios seeking to charge you to save a spot in line,” notes Juan Escalante, who was himself a former undocumented Dreamer. Scammers may use this proposed rule to take advantage of vulnerable people and unduly charge them for services.

DHS has promised that if the Texas case turns out to be unfavorable for DACA recipients, it will continue to protect the program. 

STORIES WE ARE FOLLOWING 

New York

How immigrants can take a free English course in New York City: In a recent poll conducted with members of our WhatsApp community, 10% mentioned they were interested in English courses to improve their skills. We created a resource. — Read on Documented, and pass it along

Documented is noted for the Institute of Nonprofit News’ Breaking Barriers award: The award honors reporting that brought new understanding and impactful change to an issue that affects marginalized communities. We were nominated for our coverage of the Bronx fire. — Read more

Around the U.S. 

Pregnant unaccompanied immigrant children in custody are being transported across states to access abortion services: Many immigrant children flee to the U.S after experiencing sexual abuse, but some patients who experience miscarriages have been denied care in states with abortion bans. — BuzzFeed News 

Uvalde school board voted unanimously to fire school district’s police chief: Pete Arrendondo oversaw the response to the May 24 shooting and had faced calls to be fired after it was revealed officers waited almost an hour before taking action. — Axios

5-year-old girl drowns while crossing the Rio Grande to enter Texas: The mother told rescuers she was holding her child when the current took her. Four migrants were also washed away but rescued. — KPRC 2 Houston

What immigration representation looks like in courts around the U.S.: While 44% of individuals who appear in deportation proceedings have an immigration attorney, that doesn’t dictate the outcomes of their case. — Immigration Impact

Washington D.C.

Homeland Security terminates disinformation board and rescinds its charter: Conservatives claimed the board, formed earlier this year, was a threat to free speech. Advocates expected it to be ended. — Wall Street Journal (Paywall)

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