Latitudes: What to Know About the Future of DACA

First, the new rule reaffirms the status quo but does not expand DACA or provide new benefits. That’s because a major goal of the rule was to try to shore up the program against legal challenges, Feldblum said, in particular a ruling by a federal judge in Texas last year that DACA was unlawful because, in part, it was put in place not through regulation but by executive action. The rule-making was an effort by the Biden administration to run the existing program through the regulatory process, to dot every “i” and cross every “t.”

The narrow regulation was a disappointment to many advocates who would have liked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to widen the program. For one, DACA now protects a smaller share of undocumented students from deportation than it did when the program was begun, in 2012, because fewer can meet eligibility requirements. To qualify, applicants had to come to the United States by June 2007 — meaning that today’s college freshman would have had to arrive by the age of 3 or 4. The Presidents’ Alliance and the New American Economy, a think tank, have estimated that less than half of undocumented college students qualify for DACA.

Feldblum said she understood the administration’s approach of hewing to what was already in place. “They did it very carefully,” she said.

Read the full from the Chronicle here