BY ISN STAFF | August 26, 2022
On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security and the Biden administration announced a final rule on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy which will maintain DACA protections for 800,000 undocumented young people living in the United States.
The rule will allow DACA recipients who qualify for the policy to continue to receive the benefits of low priority status for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The new rule does not expand the number of people who could qualify for DACA, especially leaving out people who were originally too young to apply when DACA was instated in 2012. Also, due to litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and a related injunction entered July 16, 2021, new applications for DACA are being accepted, but cannot be approved until the case is resolved. The injunction was partially stayed, meaning that current DACA recipients can apply and be approved for renewal. The updated rule is effective Monday, October 31, 2022.
While this decision is a victory for DACA recipients, ensuring their continued ability to safely live and work in the U.S., it continues to be only a step in the right direction. While DACA has been life-changing for hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants who arrived in this country as children, it was never intended to be a permanent solution.
Therefore, we continue to call on Congress to act now to provide a permanent legislative solution that provides DACA recipients with protection from deportation and a path to citizenship upholding their inherent human dignity without putting others who are undocumented at increased risk of deportation.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network remains steadfast in its support for DACA recipients as we work to uphold the inherent dignity of all those who migrate. As Catholics, we believe that all people have a right and duty to participate in society. Through our work in partnership with schools, parishes, and social ministries in the Jesuit and broader Catholic network across the U.S., we have witnessed firsthand the contributions that DACA recipients are making.
“DACA was not designed to be a permanent solution, and while the new DACA ruling by DHS and the Biden administration is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough to protect DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants,” said Jorge Palacios, Migration Coordinator for Youth Engagement for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “Catholic Social Teaching calls us to be attentive to and caring for the most vulnerable among us, and those who fear being separated from friends, families, and the communities they have come to call home must be included in that category of ‘most vulnerable.’ Only a path to citizenship and comprehensive immigration reform can guarantee the safety and security of DACA recipients, other undocumented young people, and many of the other nearly 11 million undocumented people living in our country.”