Immigration policies can have a major influence on an individual’s future. Lawmakers and regulatory authorities must balance the needs of current United States citizens with the need for growth and the needs of aspiring immigrants. There is often tension between wanting to offer opportunities and a need to regulate immigration.
Many people cannot or simply do not follow the formal procedure for immigration. They enter the country without documentation. Those who enter the country without authorization or stay beyond when they should face removal from the United States. However, not everyone in the country without proper documentation is here of their own volition.
Immigrant often travel for the sake of their children
Undocumented families often enter the country together in hopes of living here indefinitely. Many undocumented immigrants entered the country as children because their parents dreamed of giving them a brighter future.
The federal government acknowledged the vulnerability of childhood immigrants by implementing a special policy. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has protected thousands of young immigrants from removal from the United States and extended the opportunity for them to lawfully work in the country. Those who qualify for DACA can apply for employment authorization to legally work in the country. DACA is a way of offering protection to those who did not intentionally violate immigration laws. However, the policy has faced significant opposition.
New applicants cannot qualify
Legal opposition to DACA resulted in court cases. On July 16, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas imposed an injunction on DACA, effectively halting the processing of new applications. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit later affirmed that decision. Currently, only those who have previously applied for protection under DACA are eligible for protection from removal and employment authorization. Applicants who applied prior to the court rulings can continue to renew their protections and authorization to work.
New applicants who might theoretically qualify for DACA cannot currently seek protection from removal or authorization to legally work in the United States. Those who entered the country as young adults and who worry about their lack of documentation may have other means of protecting themselves from removal. Reviewing current immigration policy with a skilled legal team is a good starting point for those who want to remain in the United States.