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Protecting the Dreamers

"Dreamer" Ivan Reyes installs a new patio in Myrtle Beach, SC

The Biden administration has just announced a new rule to protect some 600,000 "Dreamers" from being kicked out of the U.S. and returned to the country of their birth, as twice impeached former President Donald Trump attempted to do.

Reacting to a decision by federal district judge Andrew Hanen in Texas in July, which ruled that the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy violated federal law, the Department of Homeland Security said the rule will "preserve and fortify" the DACA program by addressing objections to how it was implemented.

"The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

Mayorkas, in announcing the proposed rule, urged Congress to include immigration reform in the reconciliation bill currently being debated and "provide the Dreamers the legal status they need and deserve."

The Texas federal district court ruling left the program's benefits intact for DACA recipients who have been unable to obtain legal status after being brought to the U.S. as children, but it blocked future applications by some 50,000 young immigrants who need the protection. The Biden administration has appealed that decision as it seeks a pathway to citizen for Dreamers in Congress.

Seattle Washington immigration attorney Tahmina Watson, in a new episode of the Lean to the Left and Justice Counts podcast, discusses the origin of DACA under the Obama administration following the failure of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and blasts Trump for trying to kick those immigrants out of the country.

"It is not legal status," she stresses. "It is permission to be here. They do not have a green card, they do not have citizenship. They simply have permission to be here, to live here, and work here."

Then, in September 2017, after all of his anti-immigration rhetoric, Trump "actually put pen to paper and rescinded the DACA program," Watson explains. "These people were also threatened to be deported because at the time he said, "If DACA is taken away, I will deport them."

But, she adds, the Supreme Court intervened and DACA applications were permitted once again. Then, however, the Texas judge, acting on appeal by DACA opponents, said the program is unlawful and so new applications could not be taken.

You can listen to Watson's comments regarding DACA specifically on the Lean to the Left podcast here.

You can listen to her comments regarding the broader immigration issue, including DACA, on the Justice Counts podcast, which I co-host with author/attorney Mark M. Bello, here.

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