Soon after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden issued an executive order calling the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary – with the Attorney General – take all proper steps to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Obama-era program was created in 2012 and provides approximately 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children with work permits and protections against deportation.
Former President Trump attempted to terminate DACA in 2017. But after several court challenges, however, the U.S. Supreme Court found in June 2020 that the DHS under the Trump administration failed to take the proper steps to rescind DACA.
Following a court order by a federal judge, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must first-time applications and renewal requests for DACA as of December 7. Furthermore, the agency must extend one-year grants of deferred action and employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.
On his first day of office, President Biden also proposed an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy that would make DACA recipients (also known as “Dreamers”) automatically eligible for legal permanent residency and offers them – and other undocumented immigrants – a pathway to citizenship in three years. While this process will also apply to undocumented farmers and individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the millions of other undocumented immigrants who have been living in the U.S. as of January 1, 2021, would be able to obtain a green card in five years and seek naturalization after three years.
If you are interested in applying for DACA or renewing your status in South Carolina, contact our North Charleston DACA attorney at Maghzi Law Firm, LLC today at (843) 800-2750 for a consultation.