DHS issued rule changes for DACA
After a federal judge ruled this summer that DACA was unlawful, DHS has proposed a new rule to keep DACA in place through the formal rule change process. This rule is posted on the Federal Register and is open for public comment through November 29, 2021. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was originally implemented by memorandum under President Obama, and Judge Hanen ruled that the former president did not follow proper administrative procedures. While the court ruling did not reverse the deportation protections for the over 600,000 individuals already enrolled, new DACA applications are no longer allowed to be granted approval.
The new proposed rule does not expand DACA, but rather seeks to re-implement the program. The rule also removes automatic work authorization from the DACA application, while still making it an available option. Submitting the rule change for public comment addresses part of Judge Hanen’s concerns, but it is unclear if this will be sufficient to prevent further legal action. The judge also ruled that the president was not given the authority by Congress to implement such a program.
DHS also announced intentions to issue a new memo to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in the coming weeks, also following a court ruling that vacated earlier attempts to end MPP.
Congress approved continuing resolution that included funding & support for Afghan evacuees
On Thursday, Congress passed a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown and fund the government through December 3rd, which also provides funding for resettling Afghan evacuees. This will allow Afghans admitted through humanitarian parole to receive benefits that are usually only given to those with official refugee or special immigrant visa (SIV) status.
Meanwhile, efforts to pass immigration reform via the reconciliation process are still at an impasse after the Senate parliamentarian rejected Democrats’ second plan for the reconciliation bill.
Judge Sullivan’s Title 42 ruling was stayed, allowing expulsions to continue
Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled last month that it is unlawful for the Biden administration to continue using Title 42 to expel families. However, on Thursday the U.S. District Court of Appeals granted the Biden administration’s request to pause implementation of the ruling while they pursue their appeal.
Title 42 is a public health policy that was invoked by the CDC Director in 2020, allowing border agents to rapidly expel migrants at the border without normal processing, purportedly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands have been expelled under the policy since Spring 2020, and with the pause on Judge Sullivan’s court ruling, the Biden administration is free to continue these expulsions. Among those expelled were the 6,000+ who have been flown to Haiti since September 19th.