A federal appeals court ruled that immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can renew their “Dreamer” status but that new applicants are blocked as Biden administration revisions of the program are sent back to a lower court. “Today, DACA recipients can breathe a sigh of relief, but the urgency remains to pass a permanent solution that brings stability" to their lives, said Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Raul Ruiz (D-CA.) DACA, created in 2012 by former President Obama, is aimed at protecting Dreamers, who brought into the U.S. as children, from deportation, The Hill reports. A federal judge in Texas last year declared that the Department of Homeland Security violated procedural rules when creating DACA. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the lower court but sent the case back for review due to a new Biden administration rule effective Oct. 31.
DACA has been jeopardized by a number of legal challenges, causing supportive lawmakers to seek a legislative solution to protect Dreamers. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has called for 10 Senate Republicans to join Democrats and pass the Dream and Promise Act, which would allow the Dreamers to apply for citizenship. The bill passed the House in March of last year. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) echoed the call to advance the bill in order “to ensure that all Dreamers are safe from deportation and provided a roadmap to citizenship” whether or not DACA remains in place. National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié said Congress needs to enshrine DACA protections because the program “is legally and morally right, but it was always meant to be temporary.”