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Supporting improvements for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

APA Services submits comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the proposed rule on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and expresses support for the program.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, November 30). Supporting improvements for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

People protesting in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

APA Services submitted comments in response to the proposed rule the department drafted that would continue to defer the removal of certain noncitizens who came to the United States as children, meet other criteria, and do not present other circumstances that would warrant their removal. In its comments, APA Services supported the proposed rule and offered suggestions to improve it. Citing research that documents the high levels of stress in DACA recipients, the association underscored the need for DACA. We recognized that the proposed rule would minimize the fear of deportation for immigrants, and by limiting this fear, DHS may be able to directly impact and improve the health of the individuals who are eligible for DACA, as well as their families and communities.

The association further explained that despite this proposed resolution, Congress still needs to pass federal legislation to support DREAMers (those supported by the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). This is the most effective, permanent solution for these individuals. APA supports a comprehensive immigration reform package that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients. We recognized that the best option is to keep work authorization optional for DACA recipients so that if part of DACA is struck down by future legislation, there is greater likelihood of not striking down all DACA components. For example, a court could strike down the work authorization section, while upholding the sections on deferred action and protection from deportation.

Finally, in its comments, the association acknowledged that DACA helps keep families together. Although DREAMers are primarily young adults, if a DACA policy is not approved, some DACA enrollees could be separated from their parents or children who are U.S. citizens. 

For more information, contact: Serena Dávila.