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Experts: Biden Initiative Will Benefit DACA Beneficiaries

June 19, 2024 (1 min read)

Miriam Jordan, New York Times, June 19, 2024

"President Biden on Tuesday announced an initiative that could be life-changing for hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults, known as Dreamers, whose ability to live and work in the United States has long been tied to a temporary immigration program that has been on life support.  The new directive will enable many beneficiaries of an Obama-era program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to swiftly receive employer-sponsored work visas for the first time. Eventually, the young immigrants could apply through their employers for green cards, or permanent lawful residency. ... “It is a small step within a complex immigration system that can smooth the way for many individuals to get a work visa more quickly,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration scholar at Cornell Law School. ... The concept of speeding up normal employment visas for Dreamers surfaced two years ago when Dan Berger, an immigration fellow at Cornell Law School, floated the idea among colleagues. He and others sent a memo to the White House in late 2022 outlining an idea they said would benefit both Dreamers and companies that wished to hire them.  Mr. Berger tested the waters by helping some employers, including two hospitals, sponsor work visas for DACA recipients under the old rules.  One of them was granted a waiver in just two weeks, while another is still waiting for the visa, more than seven months later.  “The administration was able to see that this could work but that it needed to take action to streamline the process,” said Mr. Berger. “That happened today.” "