In December, our New Jersey DACA lawyers reported that the DACA program would be reinstated under the Biden administration. Part of that reinstatement was opening the program to first-time applicants for the first time since the Trump administration attempted to block the program. Since then, more than 50,000 people have applied.
However, in the first quarter of 2021, only 800 of those 50,000 new applications have been approved. That’s 1.6%, at which rate we could expect an approval rate of less than 5% by the end of the year. Immigrant advocates are concerned that DACA approvals are moving too slowly, given that there is a pending court decision on whether DACA is unlawful.
With the real possibility that a Republican-led coalition might shut down the program entirely, it’s vital that the Biden administration begin approving eligible applicants as quickly as possible. In the meantime, applicants continue to live in the shadow of immigrations enforcement. Some young people are hoping to get work permits to support their families, while others are hoping to enroll in college.
The other hope for DACA recipients is the American Dream and Promise Act, which was passed by the House earlier this year. The bill would grant a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and other people brought to the US as minors. It’s awaiting debate in the Senate, where it faces an uphill battle to passage.
Until then, life is a waiting game for Dreamers. The best they can do is keep advocating for their case, and if possible, work with a lawyer to give their case the strongest possible chance of success.
Speak with The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett Esq., P.C. today in a confidential consultation for answers regarding your DACA options. Our firm is among the premier immigration advocates in the state; let’s fight for your right to build a life.