DACA and Related 2017 Legislation

SIDE BY SIDE
DACA and Related 2017 Legislation

AUGUST 10, 2017


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Entering its fifth year of existence, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided temporary immigration relief to nearly 800,000 people. Nevertheless, the program remains under threat. The Trump administration has made inconsistent statements about whether it will keep or do away with DACA. The program also faces a legal threat from states whose leaders argue that the president did not have the legal power to cre­ate the program. There are two legal cases in which developments could threaten the DACA program: United States v. Texas[1] and Ari­zona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC) v. Brewer.[2] More information about potential scenarios and timelines related to these legal threats can be found at www.nilc.org/scenarios-legal-threats-to-daca/.

In response to this uncertainty, congressional representatives from both political parties have introduced legislation that would provide relief to certain undocumented people who came to the U.S. as minors. To go into effect, these bills must first pass Congress and be signed by the president. Then the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Secu­rity (DHS) would be charged with implementing their provisions (creating application forms, etc.).

This table compares, in a general way, the DACA program and the bills the have been introduced in Congress, as they currently stand. All but one of the bills would provide DACA-eligible and other undocumented people a path to U.S. citizenship.

NOTE: Links to each of the bills are available in the top row of the table and in the endnotes. To learn more detail about the bills, we encourage you to read them, since the table focuses only on selected information. More information is available in our summar­ies of the BRIDGE Act and the Dream Act, as well as in a side-by-side comparison of DACA and the Dream Acts of 2010 and 2017.

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NOTES

[1] On June 29, 2017, the attorneys general of Texas and nine other states sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general threatening to amend their lawsuit in Texas v. U.S. to challenge DACA’s legality unless “the Executive Branch agrees [by Sept. 5, 2017] to rescind the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum and not to renew or issue any new DACA or Expanded DACA permits in the future….” Copy of letter available at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/DACA_letter_6_29_2017.pdf.

[2] For information on the ADAC case and how it may affect DACA, see Brewer v. Arizona Dream Act Coalition (ADAC): What Comes Next? (NILC, June 27, 2017), www.nilc.org/adac-what-comes-next/.