Excellent News for DACA Recipients
Taking advantage of the excellent news for DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients that was released yesterday, I want to take this opportunity, before I speak. of the news, to tell you in this article what DACA is about for those who are not familiar with this topic.
Before I start talking about DACA I would like to share a personal story with you. Two cases have broken my heart during my almost 30 years of legal practice. These cases are the Dred Scott case and the Plyler case.
The Dred Scott case made me cry for days, and yet every time I comment on this case I am moved. It is a case that still lingers in my mind. The legal question or problem that the American Supreme Court resolved or answered in that case was whether a slave could be considered a citizen and, as such, acquire all the rights, privileges and immunities granted to citizens under the Constitution of the United States. (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393 (1856)).
In Dred Scott v. Sandford the Supreme Court held that Americans of African descent, free or enslaved, were not US citizens and could not sue in federal court. The Court also ruled that Congress lacked the power to prohibit slavery in United States territories. Finally, the Court declared that the rights of slave owners were constitutionally protected by the Fifth Amendment because slaves were classified as property. (60 U.S. 393,1857).
«Slaves were considered property», that was the part that made me cry the most. I wondered for days, and still do, how could the highest court in the land have considered a human being as property? Today after doing a deep analysis and writing about it I have the answer to my question. Obviously answer that will be the subject of another article.
The second case that has moved me and that is closely linked to DACA is the case of Plyler v. Doe. The question or legal problem that the Court answered in this case was:
Can TEXAS deny undocumented school-age children the free public education it provides to children who are citizens or foreigners?
In an emotional and deep reasoning grounded, I would say, in social and sociological nuances, the United States Supreme Court held that «Illegal immigrants encouraged by» some «(when the Court referred to» some «it seemed that it was referring to businessmen of all kinds, small, medium and large) to remain here as a source of cheap labor, but nevertheless denying them the benefit that our society makes available to citizens and legal residents … they brought their children, the plaintiffs. Those children said the Court are special members of a lower class …. «» Children who were and are brought to the United States of America have little or no control over the situation, «or over the fact that they are brought to America against their will and have no control over the decision of the adults who bring them to this country, the Court pointed out.
The United States Supreme Court held that “it is difficult to devise a rational justification for penalizing these children for their illegal presence in the United States… Americans have always viewed education and knowledge as a matter of paramount importance. «… Undocumented foreigners cannot be treated as a suspicious class (suspicious class means in this case as a class of people who could be creditors to the protection of American laws) because their presence in this country is a violation of federal law … «However, the Supreme Court also said that laws like those of Texas place a lifelong hardship on an underprivileged class of children who are not responsible for their disability status.» Plyler v. Doe, 457 US 202 (1982).
Now back to the particular topic of DACA that this article addresses. It is worth noting that DACA was implemented by the Administration of President Barack Obama five years ago. After the DACA program was implemented, it has suffered setbacks and legal battles.
For example, in 2017 the country’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced the end of DACA. The announcement was covered by various media outlets.
My Facebook page analyzed at the time the effects that the cancellation of the Executive Order would have for the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients. I mentioned in that post that if the Executive Order was reversed by the Donald Trump Administration, that case will be the third case that will make me cry because thousands of young immigrants brought to this country by their parents will be in danger of being forced to leave the only one country to which they have known as home, the United States.
What is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible young immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.
DACA provides young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal.
My second topic in this article has to do with the excellent news that President Biden’s administration announced yesterday, July 13, 20201. The Biden administration is assigning more immigration officers to review applications for Action’s deportation relief program. Deferred for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in response to a growing backlog of applications, according to information sent to Congress and shared with CBS News this outlet said. Several American legislators have urged President Biden’s administration to take more productive administrative measures that remedy or put an end to excessive wait times (up to one year) so that DACA recipients have their applications processed in the shortest possible time.
Finally, CBS News said that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told the United States Congress that it will also organize campaigns … to remind program beneficiaries to renew their work permits and deportation deferrals, they said congressional officials.»
There are currently over 13,000 DACA renewal requests pending for review which goes beyond the 120-day adjudication target.
It is worth emphasizing that despite the promises made by the Biden administration and by the same spokespersons for the USCIS office (Immigration Office), the percentages of approval of renewal applications submitted by DACA recipients (or «dreamers») they are currently very low. A newspaper mentioned this fact. That outlet said that the percentage of undocumented immigrants who were approved to live and work legally in the United States is 0.01% in the first quarter of the Biden Administration. It is worth ending this article by saying that the USCIS has also spoken out about the backlogs that currently exist not only in applications for DACA renewal processing or for applications that are submitted for the first time but in many more types of applications than to they live in that office every day. Victoria Palmer of USCIS said they are going to eliminate the backlog, which is now 55,000. Ms. Palmer mentioned that “due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, including an increase in applications and petitions, USCIS is experiencing delays in some applications and petitions filed, and processing times are affected by several variables, including demand and capacity. We are committed to eliminating backlogs and minimizing processing delays to help facilitate access to benefits and restore confidence in the System.”
In sum, there are positive news for DACA beneficiaries regarding the commitment of the current Administration, however, it seems that USCIS is still struggling with the elimination of backlogs due to the increase in applications and petitions on top of the financial difficulties that the entity is dealing with.
 See footnote No. 4.
 See footnote No. 7.
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