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  • Writer's pictureJavier Vega

The DACA appeal and what it means for Dreamers in the U.S.

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Picture: Creative Commons License

President Biden’s administration appealed on September 10th a court ruling that determined that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegal, sparking a new uncertainty for the lives of thousands of immigrants.

Although the new terms of this ruling forbid additional beneficiaries of this program, it would allow Dreamers currently inside the program to continue their efforts towards legalizing their immigration status while the appeal is in progress.

Even though DACA does not offer a path to citizenship, by 2019, about 76,000 DACA recipients became Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs). Permanent residence is an instance prior to applying for citizenship, with the requirement of living in the country with this status for five continuous years.

This has allowed them to avoid deportation and continue living in the country. However the uncertainty of the legal process has not been reduced even after President Biden’s election.

On march 2021, according to statistics, around 55.000 DACA applicants remain unprotected from deportation.

Who are the DACA dreamers?

As of December 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported a total of 636,390 DACA recipients, who are nationals of more than 195 countries. Most dreamers come from Mexico (81%), followed by El Salvador (4%), Guatemala (3%), Honduras (2%) and Peru (1%).

In most cases, these young children, some before the age of 7 according to the Center for American Progress, fled to the United States because of their families extreme poverty and violence. This means they have lived most of their lives in the U.S. and have built their lives in the country and are unfamiliar with any other culture.

Because of DACA, these children, now grown ups, have improved their quality of life. Research has shown that DACA increased the wages and employment status of DACA-eligible immigrants, and improved the mental health outcomes for DACA participants and their children.

Research also suggests it reduced the number of undocumented immigrant households living in poverty. There is no evidence to indicate that DACA recipients have higher crime rates than native-born Americans; most research shows that immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born Americans.

Economists reject that DACA has adverse effects on the U.S. economy or that it adversely affects the labor market outcomes of native-born Americans. In August 2018, USCIS estimated there were 699,350 active DACA recipients residing in the United States.

What now?

Following the July 2021 United States District Court decision for the Southern District of Texas, DHS will continue to accept the submission of initial and renewal DACA applications, as well as applications for employment authorization.

However, the agency is prohibited from granting initial DACA applications, as well as any accompanying employment authorization applications. DHS will continue to grant or deny DACA renewal requests, in accordance with existing policy.

Disclaimer: This article doesn't constitute any legal advice. If you wish to get any legal consultation please contact The Allongo Law Firm.


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