NAICU Washington Update

Homeland Security Issues Proposed Rules for DACA

October 01, 2021

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The DACA program allows non-citizens who came to the U.S. as children to temporarily avoid deportation and obtain renewable work permits.  The proposal allows for a 60-day public comment period before DHS moves to finalize the rule.

Early this year, President Biden directed DHS to take action to preserve and fortify DACA.  This proposed rule would move that directive forward. However, in July, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the DACA program is illegal and ordered to Biden Administration to stop approving new applications. While the NPRM attempts to strengthen the program, the proposal also encourages Congress to pass legislation that would formally establish the DACA program in statute.  The proposal also makes a few limited changes to the program, including the filing process, fees, and employment authorization.

It’s unclear if the final rule would survive legal challenges given the Texas court ruling.  Anyone wishing to submit comments can do so through the portal under DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0006.  The deadline to submit comments is November 29.

NAICU is likely to submit comments in coordination with the broader higher education community.

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