Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released a statement Friday saying that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

DACA protects more than 640,000 people who were brought to the U.S. unlawfully as children from deportation, but is the subject of ongoing litigation. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen will hold a hearing Tuesday in a case in which Texas and other states are challenging the legality of the Obama-era program.

In January, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum ordering DHS to take steps to protect DACA. Formal regulations could help preserve DACA, but Mayorkas emphasized that legislation is the only way to provide permanent legal status and a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

“We are taking action to preserve and fortify DACA,” Mayorkas said in his statement. “This is in keeping with the President’s memorandum. It is an important step, but only the passage of legislation can give full protection and a path to citizenship to the Dreamers who know the U.S. as their home.”

BAL Analysis: BAL is monitoring legislative, regulatory and judicial developments related to DACA, and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. For the latest information on DACA, please visit BAL’s DACA Resource Center here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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