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White House prepping executive action to protect DACA recipients ahead of impending court ruling

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According to sources close to the White House who spoke anonymously to NBC News, the Biden administration is in the process of preparing an executive order aimed at protecting “Dreamers,” or recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program ahead of a court ruling that may end the program.

A ruling from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals is expected in the coming days that may effectively end the DACA program, citing it is illegal because it offers work permits to undocumented persons.

The Dreamers are all children of immigrants, and were brought to the United States by undocumented immigrant parents. The DACA program offers them educational opportunities and work permits so they can make a life in the United States in spite of their citizenship status.

According to the White House sources, the new executive order would instruct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deprioritize the deportation of DACA recipients and make efforts not to deport them unless they pose a security risk to United States citizens. 

There are approximately 3.6 million DACA recipients in the United States currently, according to Immigration Forum.

“DACA has been threatened in the past, but the current case ahead of the 5th Circuit Court is the most severe threat to date,” said immigration activist Todd Schulte told NBC.

“If Congress does not pass legislation this year, it is likely that nearly 700,000 DACA recipients will be at risk of being forced out of their jobs and subjected to the threat of deportation. If the 5th Circuit rules against DACA, 1,000 existing DACA recipients will be at risk of losing their legal ability to work every single business day for the next 24 months.”

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