The U.S. business community continues to show strong support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), with companies and trade organizations urging the Biden administration and Congress to take action to protect the program.
In September, the Department of Homeland Security published a proposal that would “preserve and fortify” DACA through notice-and-comment rulemaking. The proposal drew more than 16,000 comments in a 60-day period that ended this week.
“The DACA program has produced tremendous benefits—for DACA beneficiaries, for businesses, and for the entire U.S. economy,” said the Coalition for the American Dream, in a comment signed by more than 30 companies and trade organizations, including BAL.
The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration said DACA “has opened the door for hundreds of thousands of recipients to more easily access higher education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.” The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies, noted that 49 percent of the Dreamer population works in essential industries, including thousands involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite their integral roles in our communities, Dreamers continue to live with the uncertainty of ongoing litigation,” the Business Roundtable said. “As we work to reinvigorate the U.S. economy, we need their continued contributions and urge the agency to finalize this regulation.”
DACA remains under threat in court. In July, a federal judge in Texas ruled that DHS did not follow proper procedures when it created the program in 2012. The U.S. appealed the ruling in September. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has said that while regulatory action is an important step in protecting DACA recipients, only Congress can provide Dreamers full protection and a path to citizenship.
“We believe that protecting the DACA program and its 800,000 recipients isn’t just the right thing to do, it also provides sustainable long-term benefits to the U.S. economy,” said a group of leading tech companies in a joint comment. “While we know this rulemaking will provide certainty to DACA recipients, we will continue to support efforts in Congress to pass legislation to permanently protect DACA recipients.”
BAL Analysis: DHS will now review the comments before publishing a final regulation. Anticipated legal challenges could affect implementation. At this time, DHS continues to adjudicate only renewal applications for existing DACA recipients. BAL continues to monitor developments related to DACA and will provide updates as information becomes available. For more information, please visit BAL’s DACA Resource Center here.
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