Court reinstates Obama-era DACA, Indian immigrants to benefit

Reversing the decision of the outgoing Trump administration, a federal court has ordered full reinstatement of an Obama-era program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors from deportation, a ruling that will help a large number of Indian migrants.

The Trump administration tried ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked its attempt in June.

On Friday, US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in the Eastern District of New York directed the Department of Homeland Security to extend the two-year renewals to DACA recipients and start accepting applications from first-time applicants beginning Monday.

This means that the first time since September 2017, new applicants who were not previously eligible may now apply for the program which shield undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation.

The court believes that these additional remedies are reasonable. Indeed, the government has assured the court that a public notice along the lines described is forthcoming, Judge Garaufis said in his order.

Approximately 640,000 immigrants are enrolled in the DACA program.

According to a 2019 report by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), there are at least 630,000 Indians who are undocumented, a 72 per cent increase since 2010.

There are currently at least 4,300 active South Asian DACA recipients. As of August 2018, there are approximately 2,550 active Indian DACA recipients. Only 13 per cent of the overall 20,000 DACA eligible Indians have applied and received DACA, SAALT said.

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