Like we reported might happen, a federal judge ruled that new applications for the DACA program would be blocked. It threatens the stability and safety of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrived as children, including 50,000 new DACA applicants. Now, the Democrats in Congress are under increased pressure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package like Biden promised.
The immigration package includes the American Dream and Promise Act as well as a bill to offer immigration benefits to farmworkers. Both would provide a path to citizenship for millions of migrant workers and students, including workers classified as “essential” during the pandemic. To get it passed, leading Democrats are considering using a process called budget reconciliation to pass it via simple majority. In order to do so, the Senate parliamentarian has to find that the bill has enough financial components to justify it.
Immigrant advocates and communities are looking to pressure the Democrats into getting it done as quickly as possible. Executive Director Benjamin Johnson of the American Immigration Lawyers Association says, “The blame lies squarely on the Senate which has not yet moved forward on the American Dream and Promise Act which would protect Dreamers and others with longstanding ties to our country who have played an integral role in our shared efforts to fight the pandemic and have been contributing to communities across the country for decades.”
The AILA also believes that the Biden administration will appeal the decision and fight to approve the tens of thousands of backlogged DACA applications from earlier this year. We continue to call on Congress to pass laws protecting our immigrant communities who, as Mr. Johnson said, have played an integral role in our effort to fight the pandemic.
For information about how this recent ruling affects your case, speak with our New Jersey DACA lawyers today in a confidential consultation.