A federal judge in Washington, DC, has just reopened the door a crack to young unauthorized immigrants who qualified for relief from deportation and work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Trump administration wound down in September.
But the administration has 90 days to shut that door again.
But there’s hope (emphasis mine).
Judge Bates went further. His ruling would force the Trump administration to allow immigrants who qualify for DACA — by being between the ages of 15 and 31, having arrived in the US before 2007, being enrolled in school or having a degree, and not having a significant criminal record — to apply for work permits even if they never applied before September 2017.
That’s fantastic news but with the caveat that it won’t go into effect for 90 days. And in that time, the administration can still shut the door. But (and that’s a big but) if this goes through, the Center for American Progress estimates that as of March 5, 23,000 immigrants have become DACA-eligible. That is an astonishing number.
Remember, these are kids who were brought to the United States of America, through no choice of their own, illegally. Here are the requirements:
- They were younger than 18 years old on the date of their initial entry to the United States
- Have proof of having arrived in the United States before age 16
- Have proof of residence in the United States for at least four consecutive years since their date of arrival
- If male, have registered with the Selective Service
- Be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of bill enactment
- Have graduated from an American high school, obtained a GED, or been admitted to an institution of higher education
- Be of good moral character
Hopefully, those in Washington can make the right decision to help these children. If they don’t, well, there’s an election in November.