Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has helped over half a million undocumented immigrants find temporary relief from deportation and provides qualifying individuals with a renewable, two-year grant of prosecutorial discretion to legally work and live in the United States.
Since DACA was announced in June 2012, the program has been met with great success. There were plans in place to enact an extended version of DACA that would allow recipients to legally reside and work in the U.S. for a period of three years, instead of two years under the current DACA grant. There were also plans to release DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, which would have granted deferred action to certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Unfortunately, this progress was met with a startling halt when a Federal district court in Texas issued an order temporarily blocking the two new programs until the court has an opportunity to hear the merits of the underlying lawsuit filed on behalf of 26 dissenting states. The good news is that the injunction does not affect the existing DACA program, and that those individuals already granted relief can make plans to renew their grant before it expires.
The Obama Administration has quickly appealed this order, arguing that the programs should be able to continue while the case makes its way through the court system. Although this injunction could possibly remain in effect for the pendency of the case, it will be lifted if there is a favorable ruling on the lawsuit.
DACA has helped over a half a million undocumented immigrants to date, with extended DACA and DAPA set to increase this these numbers and provide much-needed relief for other undocumented immigrants.