The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday a notice of proposed rulemaking to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a press release, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “the Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country.”
The new rule would “preserve and fortify” DACA, modify the present filing process, and codify the department’s “longstanding information sharing and use policy regarding DACA requests.” Undocumented DACA applicants surrender vulnerable personal information to the department in their application process. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services holds that this personal information “may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies…for purposes other than removal.”
Despite his department’s action, Secretary Mayorkas urged Congress to “provide permanent protection” to Dreamers through formal legislation and “provide Dreamers the legal status they need and deserve.”
On July 16, 2021, the District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered the department to cease granting new DACA requests. Biden’s administration appealed the district court’s order. While the appeal pends, the department announced it will continue “to accept and process DACA renewal requests based on the terms of DACA policy, as permitted by the court’s order.”
According to agency procedure, the department will accept public comments on the rule for 60 days and review comments before issuing a final rule. The notice of proposed rulemaking will be published on September 27, 2021.