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People attend a protest supporting DACA in New York, Aug. 17. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Monday took additional steps to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program despite ongoing legal challenges to the program.

Driving the news: The Department of Homeland Security unveiled a proposed rule designed "to preserve and fortify" DACA, which offers protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The rule is set to formally publish on Tuesday and would give the public two months to submit comments in favor of or against the Obama-era policy.

Details: "This proposed rule embraces the consistent judgment that has been maintained by the Department — and by three presidential administrations since the policy first was announced — that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal," DHS officials said.

The big picture: DACA has been subject to several legal challenges since it was first implemented in 2012.

  • In July, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the program was unlawful because Congress had not granted the government the authority to create the program and paused new applications.
    • The judge added that the program should have been enacted through federal regulation open to public comment, not through a memo from DHS, per CBS News.
    • The administration is appealing the ruling.
  • In response, President Biden called the decision "disappointing" and urged Congress to "ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers."
  • The rule was issued in spite of ongoing legal challenges, and DHS wrote in the draft rule they believe it would be "upheld in any legal challenge."

What they're saying: "The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

  • "This notice of proposed rulemaking is an important step to achieve that goal.  However, only Congress can provide permanent protection," he added.
  • "I support the inclusion of immigration reform in the reconciliation bill and urge Congress to act swiftly to provide Dreamers the legal status they need and deserve."

Between the lines: Lawmakers for years have attempted to pass legislation that would allow DACA recipients to live permanently in the U.S., but these efforts have failed.

Go deeper

Biden administration overhauls student loan forgiveness program

Brookland Middle School teacher Michelle Taylor with President Biden in September 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Education announced Wednesday that it would temporarily relax rules governing a student loan forgiveness program, making it easier for service members, teachers, nurses and other public servants to qualify for debt relief.

Why it matters: In total, the department estimates that its overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program will bring over 550,000 borrowers closer to debt forgiveness.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."