The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created in 2012 by prosecutorial discretion exercised by the Department of Homeland Security. It targeted more than 700,000 children who had unlawfully been brought to the United States who have no lawful residence here who can be deported. They’re known as Dreamers, and they’re allowed to live, study and work here, but DACA offers no permanent legal status to Dreamers. As a result, a Dreamer’s status must be renewed every two years with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Most DACA beneficiaries have now reached the age of majority, and they’ve established firm social and economic footing here in the United States.
In September of 2021, USCIS published its intention to legislate the DACA program into a federal regulation. Most dreamers recall little of the nations they were born in. Many don’t even speak the language. There is no question that through education and hard work, they’re moving up the socioeconomic ladder here in the United States. Establishing DACA as law will enable these Dreamers to plan ahead for their futures without fear of deportation. New DACA applications are currently being taken.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
The immigration status of temporary protected status is available to citizens of specified nations that are experiencing profound difficulties that make it difficult for them to be returned to their nations of citizenship because of armed conflict like civil war, environmental disasters like earthquakes or other extraordinary conditions. At this point in time, more than 325,000 foreign nationals from 13 different countries are under temporary protected status inside of the United States.
Individual Eligibility for TPS
A person who is eligible for TPS is required to submit an application to USCIS. If a favorable determination is made, a temporary stay of deportation is granted, and the individual is given permission to live and work in the United States. When temporary protected status ends, the immigration status of the previously protected person reverts to the individual’s former status. In most cases, that would be the status of an undocumented foreign national who would be subject to removal.
TPS Doesn’t Lead to Lawful Permanent Residency
In a June, 2021 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that temporary protected status doesn’t lead to lawful permanent residency. The rationale behind this decision was that those who are given lawful permanent residence apply for it. They’re investigated and inspected at the border. As those with TPS status were not investigated or inspected, they failed to comply with applicable USCIS requirements and are ineligible for lawful permanent resident status.
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