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New proposed DACA regulations are a modest step forward

The Department of Homeland Security published proposed new regulations for the DACA program. This is the first step in trying to get DACA established via the normal federal regulatory process. The original DACA program was created by a memo of the Secretary of Homeland Security in2012, rather than through legislation or a regulation based on existing law. This is one of the reasons that lawsuits challenging the program have had partial success. The regulations will create a better foundation for the program, but it will still be vulnerable.

The proposed regulations do not change anything fundamental about DACA eligibility: It is a door that is open only to persons who came to the U.S. before they were 16, entered on or before June 15, 2007, and have maintained continuous presence since then. Persons have to also meet educational criteria and pass a criminal background check.

The 800,000+ DACA recipients and the millions of other DREAMERS who were brought to the U.S. as children still need legislation that will protect them from deportation and provide a path towards permanent residency and citizenship.

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