DHS Proposes New DACA Rules to Strengthen the Program

Practice Areas

By Angelita Chavez

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to strengthen the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

If the proposed rule is approved and finalized, changes to DACA would include the following:

  • Changing procedures and fees:
    • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization would be optional.
    • It would cost $85 to file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
    • The current fee for a DACA request and optional employment authorization would remain $495 without a separate fee increase for Form I-765.
  • Offering clarity in the process for termination of DACA and employment authorization, including when the DACA beneficiary can respond before DHS decides their case.
  • Supporting DHS’s prior information sharing and use policy for information supplied by DACA applicants.
  • Reiterating policy that a noncitizen who has been approved for deferred action is deemed “lawfully present” and does not accrue “unlawful presence”[1] for the duration of the grant.


Public comment period 

The NPRM will have a 60-day public comment period from September 28, 2021 through November 29, 2021. The public may submit comments according to DHS instructions on Regulations.gov under DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0006. Comments on proposed rules, legal and policy considerations, and suggestions for additional or alternative approaches are all permitted. DHS will review all correctly submitted comments and draft responses before issuing a final rule.


Background on daca

DACA was established in 2012 by DHS. The program allows DHS to defer removal on a case-by-case basis for certain qualifying individuals who came to the US as children and meet other requirements. More than 825,000 people have received deferred action under this policy.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden instructed DHS to take all appropriate action to preserve and fortify DACA, consistent with applicable law. Consistent with the President’s direction and the Secretary’s broad authorities to administer and enforce the immigration laws, DHS proposes to strengthen and update DACA policy.

The DACA program has faced legal challenges, including most recently a July 2021 suspension by a federal judge.


For questions regarding the DACA application process or case-specific concerns, please contact your trusted Chugh LLP, immigration professional.


[1] Section 212(a)(9) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.



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