Asian Americans Advancing Justice Calls on President Biden and Congress to Create Permanent Protections for DACA Recipients

Final Rule “Preserves” DACA, But Misses Opportunity to Do More
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

WASHINGTON, D.C. — August 30, 2022 —  Today, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which will go into effect on October 31, 2022. Because of ongoing litigation, no new applications will be accepted, but DACA renewal requests can still be filed.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent civil rights organizations, releases the following statement:

“The benefits of DACA are undeniable. DACA has made it possible for many immigrants to build a life in the U.S., including by keeping families together, opening higher education and job opportunities for tens of thousands of people, and growing the economy.  The final rule rightfully keeps the DACA program in place, maintaining a set of protections that has helped over 14,000 Asian American and 150 Pacific Islander active DACA recipients.

However, the final rule fails to expand eligibility for the program or increase accessibility, which means the rule falls short of President Biden’s directive to the Department of Homeland Security to ‘fortify’ DACA. Only a fraction of eligible Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrants applied for and received DACA, due in part to barriers such as high fees and biometric requirements that are unaddressed in the final rule.

Current DACA recipients and those who are seeking more information should obtain legal advice from an authorized immigration attorney or accredited legal representative. AJSOCAL and Advancing Justice - Atlanta provide free to low-cost legal services for immigration legal services, including DACA renewal.

The gaps in the final rule illustrate that our communities need more than temporary, piecemeal relief. We call on Congress and President Biden to prioritize a pathway to citizenship. Our families and loved ones have waited long enough.”