The Discretionary Authority On Childhood Arrival Policy (Daca) Research Paper Samples
The purpose of this policy is to set guidelines on following a deferred action not deport illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States when they were still children. The purpose of creating this policy is to protect the illegal immigrants’ deportation after having complied with the minimum requirements provided by law. It is important to address this problem to avoid the deportation of illegal immigrants who have been living the U.S. and possess all the qualifications that will justify their stay in the country. The policy also ensures public safety, border security and to strengthen the integrity of the U.S. immigration system (Department of Homeland Security, 2013).
Historical Background of the Study
For the past years, the Department of Homeland Security has been the agency tasked by the U.S. government to transform the immigration enforcement system that will promote the integrity of the immigration system and ensure that public safety and border security will be upheld. The DHS is responsible to remove persons who live in the U.S and poses to cause danger and risks to national security and public safety. These individuals include those who had been convicted of violent crimes and those who had been identified as criminal offenders, felons, and repeat offenders (Department of Homeland Security, 2013). It shall be the duty of the DHS to exercise prosecutorial discretion to enforce the law, but to see to it that the priority cases involving persons who entered the U.S. territory when there were still children and has met the key guidelines set forth by law.
The key stakeholders will include those persons who have shown that they were able to substantially met or complied with the guidelines set forth by this policy. They are allowed to file their application to request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals within a two-year period. It is also the discretion of DHS to renew the request, provided that the individual concerned is eligible to obtain employment authorization (Department of Homeland Security, 2013). The policy networks will include the elected officials, concerned citizen groups, and other special interest groups.
According to Garcia (2014, p.110) the current immigration law has divided noncitizens into three major categories namely: 1.) lawful permanent residents (LPRs); 2.) non-immigrants; and 3.) undocumented noncitizens. The LPRs are those who have legal permits that allowed them to remain in the United States permanently (Garcia, 2014). On the other hand, the non-immigrants are those who had been given temporary permission to stay in the U.S. The non-immigrants shall include non-citizens who are currently living in America as “temporary workers, students, foreign diplomats, tourists, and business travelers (Garcia, 2014). Finally, the undocumented non-citizens are those were not given the permission to stay in the U.S. because they entered illegally or they are holding expired permits.Identification of Policy Alternatives
This problem has already been addressed by the DHS, but there are still improvements that can be done to expand the policy to make it more beneficial to the key stake holders and policy networks.
According to Triche (2013, p.20), it was on June 15, 2012 when President Obama publicly made a historic announcement that will benefit undocumented students and recent graduates. Obama created a program called the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” or “DACA” which will require the processing of application forms to be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The program requires mandatory requirements for the applicants before they become eligible to formally request a reprieve from deportation (Triche, 2013). The request will be granted provided that the application is accompanied by employment authorization and pictures for identification. The program will benefit majority of the students as long as they meet the set criteria. Reports show that from the time that the program commenced on Aug. 15, 2012 until March 14, 2013, USCIS received about 469,530 applications and process about 3,261 applications daily (Triche, 2013).
The current guidelines set forth under the law include the following requirements:
The requesting party may ask for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if he or she was below 31 years of age as of 15 June 2012;
Such person should have arrived to the U.S. before he or she had reached the age of 16 years;
Such person should have continuously resided in America beginning June 15, 2007 until the current time;
Such person should be physically present in country starting 15 June 2012, and at the time of that the request for consideration for deferred actions has been filed with USCIS;
Such individual must enter the U.S. without undergoing inspection prior to 15 June 2012, or in the event that his or her lawful immigration status reached its expiration on 15 June 2012;
Such individual must be presently enrolled in school, obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or garnered a general education development (GED) certificate;
Such individual is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and
Such individual should not have been convicted of a crime or felony, or any significant misdemeanor, or should not be charged to three or more misdemeanors, and that such person does not pose a threat to national security or public safety of the country (Department of Homeland Security, 2013).
The government should take other possible alternatives methods to resolve the issue on the issue of illegal immigrants. The present DACA program is technically merely a form of deferred action which does not confer a legal status (Triche, 2013, p.20). Hence, it is just an administrative choice of the government to freeze the case. The DACA program does not grants any benefit that can even extend to family beneficiaries or even immediate relatives of the applicant (Triche, 2013, p.20). Such program only covers work authorization for the person applying for the request for deferment.
One alternative method that will resolve the issue on deferred action for illegal immigrants should not only extend to those who had stayed in the country for more than 15 years even before the DACA program took effect in 2012. By extending the coverage of the program will be beneficial for those undocumented aliens who had been living and working in the U.S. without employment or work authorization. Many of these undocumented aliens fear deportation and agree to accept work even below the minimum salary required by law. With the proposal of extending the coverage of DACA will mean that many of these undocumented aliens will also be given the opportunity to seek gainful employment.
According to Triche (2013), in modern times, the authority for deferred action is vested in the President’s power to enforce immigration law, and not specifically provided in a regulation or statue. The role of the federal government is to supervise the removal of detained aliens as provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that it is the Secretary of Homeland Security who is in charge of the administration and enforcement immigration laws and has the discretionary choice to apprehend and detain aliens (Triche, 2013, p.21).
The Supreme Court describes the deferred action as a process through which the U.S. immigration can decline to institute and terminate proceedings, or to decline the execution of final orders of deportation of undocumented aliens. Thus, those detained aliens will benefit from the expanded program and in return prevent the incidents of employers who take advantage of cheap labor of illegal immigrants in the U.S. The President has the power to extend the coverage of the program due to his inherent authority as part of his official duties and responsibilities. With the implementation of DACA, the beneficiaries will offer a renewable two-year grant of deportation relief along with work authorization and a social security number to eligible undocumented immigrants (D’Ottavio, 2013, p.931). Aside from obtaining a social security number, majority of states also confirmed that DACA beneficiaries were eligible for driver's licenses (D’Ottavio, 2013, p.931).
Another proposed alternative in the policy is to abide by the Equal Protection Clause under the constitution to protect the undocumented immigrants. In the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Plyler v. Doe, the court rejected the strict scrutiny analysis to disallow undocumented immigrants from obtaining driver’s license (D’Ottavio, 2013, p.938). In this particular case of Plyer, the State of Texas was ordered by the court to demonstrate more than a rational basis that will justify he striking down of the statute. The Court has maintained that the State of Texas failed to show that the denial of the innocent children the free public education being offered to other children residing within the borders of the state touches on substantial state interest (D’Ottavio, 2013, p.938).
The alternative policy should also expand the education benefit of the undocumented immigrants by allowing them to avail of free education provided by the states. It will incur additional costs on the part of the state, but in the long run, will benefit the state if it produces good students who can become productive citizens and leaders in the future. They say that the youth is the hope and future of a nation. Hence, they should not be deprived of free education, regardless of their status.
The current program of DACA does not cover free education to undocumented aliens who are still minors. This alternative is proposed in order to provide free education to these minors. Although it may appear to be an expensive alternative compared to the present DACA program, the applicant who has complied with the set criteria laid down in the program should also enjoy free education and other benefits such as the issuance of driver’s license and work authority or employment permits.
The alternative policy should also expand the education benefit of the undocumented immigrants by allowing them to avail of free education provided by the states. While it may incur additional costs on the part of the state, in the long run, the state will benefit if it produces good students who can become productive citizens and leaders in the future. The youth is the hope of the nation’s future. Hence, they should not be deprived of free education, regardless of their status. It is hereby recommended that the current program of DACA should cover free education to undocumented aliens who are still minors and complied with the requirements set forth by the program. Although it may appear to be an expensive alternative compared to the present DACA program, the applicant who has complied with the set criteria laid down in the program should also enjoy free education and other benefits such as the issuance of driver’s license and work authority or employment permits.
According to D’Ottavio (2013, p.944), the issuance of driver’s license and work permits will prevent the governmental machinery from facilitating the concealment of illegal aliens. At the same time, the it will prevent the limitation of services to citizens and legal residents which is guaranteed under the constitution. Restricting the issuance of driver's licenses will benefit those who are not subject to deportation, and it will also discourage illegal immigration (D’Ottavio 2013, p.944).
Congress should pass a law that will relax the stringent requirements under the DACA program. Due to the restrictive eligibility requirements and the limited number of visas available, many of these individuals have no way to seek lawful status in the United States (Arellano, 2012, p.1141). The effects such legal dilemma can be considered as detrimental for the young undocumented immigrants who have lived in America for almost their entire lives. It is a pity that they do not who have other recourse to seek remedial measures that will grant them a legal status. In effect, DACA recipients suffer ineligibility for public benefits under state law, and it is only the state legislature that can cure the error of depriving them of their eligibility to enjoy such benefits. There must be a legislative action must be passed in order to relax the rules that will favour most of the undocumented aliens. The granting of free public education all children regardless of status and who reside within the borders of the state falls under substantial state interest (D’Ottavio, 2013, p.938). Hence, I therefore conclude that current program of DACA should be expanded.
Arellano, D. A. (2012). Law and Policy Note: Keep Dreaming: Deferred Action and the Limits of Executive Power. Arizona Law Review, 541139.
D’Ottavio, K. E. (2013). Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Why Granting Driver’s Licenses to DACA Beneficiaries Makes Constitutional and Political SENSE. Maryland Law Review, 72931.
Garcia, T. L. (2014). Protecting a Dream: Analyzing the Level of Review Applicable to DACA Recipients in Equal Protection Cases. Southern Illinois University Law Journal, 39(1), 105-124.
Plyler v. Doe 457 U.S. 202 (1982)
Triche, A. (2013). Who is a Dreamer? The Criteria, History, and Legal Authority of "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals". Federal Lawyer, 60(5), 20-21.