FOR the first time in three years, the program that has protected young undocumented immigrants from deportation will accept new applications.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Friday, December 4 ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be restored to its original form, and that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security must post a public notice by Monday that it will review new applications.
The approved applications will receive work permits for two years.
This comes after the Trump administration in 2017 moved to terminate the program, but the legality of the program has been weighed by several federal courts, including the Supreme Court this summer.
DACA, which was introduced by former President Barack Obama in 2012, granted renewable deportation protections of two years to certain young undocumented immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
Aside from being able to stay in the U.S., recipients were able to work legally which allowed many to pursue higher education and other career goals. The program, however, does not offer a pathway to citizenship for the grantees.
On November 14, Garaufis ruled that the Trump administration’s rules limiting applications and renewals for DACA were invalid because Chad Wolf was not legally appointed acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Wolf in July suspended the DACA program pending DHS review, despite the U.S. Supreme Court blocking the Trump administration’s plan to dismantle the program a month before.
Around 650,000 individuals have benefitted from the DACA program.
According to Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five independent civil rights organizations, at least 16,000 DACA recipients are of Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent.
Between 2012 and 2017, at least 3,880 Filipinos were granted DACA protection, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).