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What’s Going On With DACA?

Apr 6, 2022

Hi everyone. My name is Maggie Riley, and I’m the Immigration Law and Policy Analyst at Boundless Immigration. I wanted to give a brief update today on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program since its status has been in limbo since 2017.

So, without further ado, what’s going on with DACA?

As of March 28, we’re still waiting for the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, to release a final rule. DHS released a proposed rule on DACA in September 2021 and asked the public to submit comments until November 29, 2021. Once the Department of Homeland Security receives these comments, they organize them and then respond to them. This can take several months, and there’s no specific timeline or deadline for when the government should complete this task.

The rule DHS proposed was nearly identical to the DACA program as it was originally rolled out in 2012. One major difference, however, is that the new proposed DACA rule will not require automatic I-765 EAD applications to be submitted with the I-821D application form for DACA.

This means that future DACA applicants would have the choice to submit their DACA application with or without Form I-765. Immigration advocates are concerned, however, that this could cause confusion and delays for Dreamers. The proposed DACA rule will also require a new Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Document. This form was submitted for final approval by DHS to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or OIRA on January 7, 2022, so it does appear that we are getting close.

In late February, some news organizations reported that DHS was coming close to finalizing the rule; however, since that time, the government has not released any further information.

Finally, given current events, DHS does have a lot on its plate right now, and that is not limited just to immigration. The Department of Homeland Security handles a lot of other varied responsibilities, including cybersecurity and general customs and trade issues. Given current events, while I do believe a DACA rule is on the way sooner rather than later, it is possible that the timeline has been delayed by several months.

I do expect that we should see a DACA rule within the next several weeks; however, because it is the government, there are no guarantees. However, I do expect that we should see a DACA rule at least several months prior to the November 2022 midterm elections.

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