White House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing'
Biden administration moves to preserve DACA after court ruling
The Biden administration on Monday announced plans to create a rule that would recreate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy after a Texas court found the Obama-era program unlawful and suspended the ability of "Dreamers" to apply for protections.
The Department of Homeland Security announced the forthcoming rule would "preserve and fortify" the DACA program by seeking to address concerns over how it was implemented.
"The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
"This notice of proposed rulemaking is an important step to achieve that goal. However, only Congress can provide permanent protection," Mayorkas added. "I support the inclusion of immigration reform in the reconciliation bill and urge Congress to act swiftly to provide Dreamers the legal status they need and deserve."
A federal district judge in Texas ruled in July that the 2012 DACA program violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The decision left intact the program's benefits for some 600,000 people otherwise unable to obtain legal status after being brought to the U.S. as children. But it blocked any future applications, leaving thousands of young immigrants in limbo.
The Biden administration appealed the decision earlier this month.
The fate of Dreamers has been in limbo for years. Former President Trump sought to terminate the DACA policy in 2017, but it remained hung up in the courts after it was ruled the administration did not properly move to do so. President Biden signed an executive order upon taking office to strengthen the program, but officials have acknowledged Congress must enact a permanent fix.
Those efforts took a hit this month when the Senate's parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, ruled against Democrats' plan to provide 8 million green cards as part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill, dealing a significant blow to the party's immigration reform chances.
Updated at 9:42 a.m.