Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a US immigration policy that permits some people who have been in the country unlawfully since they were children to get a renewable two-year term of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the United States. Recipients must not have any felonies or significant misdemeanours on their records in order to be eligible for the programme.

President Barack Obama introduced the policy, which is an executive branch memorandum, on June 15, 2012. On August 15, 2012, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for the programme.

A federal judge in Texas ruled DACA unlawful on Friday, placing additional pressure on President Joe Biden, and the Democrats who now dominate Congress, to act.  People who have already enlisted will not lose their safeguards, but a stop has been put on fresh applications being processed.

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Unlike the proposed DREAM Act, DACA does not offer recipients a road to citizenship. President Barack Obama stated in November 2014 that DACA will be expanded to include more undocumented immigrants. Multiple states quickly filed lawsuits to stop the expansion, which was eventually halted by a Supreme Court that was equally split.

In June 2017, under President Trump’s watch, the Department of Homeland Security revoked the expansion while continuing to investigate DACA’s overall existence. The Trump administration revealed a plan to phase down DACA in September 2017, sparking a flurry of legal challenges.

The administration postponed the execution of this plan for six months in order to give Congress time to enact the DREAM Act or another piece of legislation to safeguard illegal immigrants. The time extension ended on March 5, 2018, when Congress failed to act, but three different district judges issued injunctions prohibiting the phase-out of DACA by that date, based on the possibility that the rescinding was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Separately, while district court judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas concluded that DACA is likely illegal, he allowed the programme to continue while the case was being litigated.

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order restoring DACA on January 20, 2021.

DACA boosted the salaries and work status of DACA-eligible immigrants, as well as enhanced the mental health outcomes of DACA members and their children, according to research. There is no indication that DACA participants commit more crimes than native-born Americans; in fact, most studies have showed that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans.