DACA rule finalized on the Federal Register
Last Wednesday DHS finalized a rule to codify DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and strengthen legal protections of the program. DACA was originally created under a DHS memo, and one of the court challenges to the program was on the grounds that it did not go through the process of public comment that occurs under the formal rulemaking process. This new rule addresses those concerns, but the program could still be challenged in further court action. A decision on the legality of DACA is also still pending from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The new rule continues existing eligibility rules and does not expand the program. An existing court injunction continues to prevent DHS from approving new applicants. The rule will be published on the Federal Register on August 30th and will be effective on October 31st.
An estimated 150,000 Ukrainians have entered the U.S. since the war began
It’s been six months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Following President Biden’s promise in March to welcome at least 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing war, there have been an estimated 150,000 Ukrainian arrivals in the United States through various means. Over 100,000 applications have been filed to sponsor Ukrainians through the Uniting for Ukraine parole program as of August 19th: around 38,000 have already been processed, while “a similar number” have also been approved but have not yet arrived in the U.S.
An issue facing those who arrived through Uniting for Ukraine is the differing experience of private sponsorship under a temporary parole program versus the professional assistance of a refugee resettlement agency. While legislation has been passed to allow resettlement agencies to help provide this support to Ukrainians, those arriving with private sponsors may not realize the extent of support they are entitled to receive, or where to go to get it. The IRC recently launched a Ukraine Support Line in partnership with workforce solutions provider Loyal Source. Ukrainian parolees in the United States can call the helpline at (407) 591-3963.
Flooding causes devastation in Pakistan and Afghanistan
Pakistan’s foreign minister made an appeal for aid on Sunday, following severe devastation to the country from flooding caused by “unusually heavy” monsoon rains. The floods have affected over 30 million people and over 1,000 have been killed in the past few weeks. Tens of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes over the weekend after a major bridge was washed away.
Afghanistan has also suffered extensive losses from flooding. As of this weekend, the reported death toll was 192 and the death of thousands of livestock and destruction of 1.7 million fruit trees threaten to exacerbate existing mass hunger in the country.