The Biden administration is taking steps to preserve The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that shields over 600,000 migrant children from being deported after they were brought to the U.S. by their parents. 

In July, Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas, declared the DACA program illegal, prompting the Biden team to take action to protect migrant children. The Department of Homeland Security said the new rule will “preserve and fortify” the DACA program.

According to the proposed rule, to qualify for DACA, individuals must arrive in the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday, have resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, are currently in school or graduated, have not been convicted of a felony, and do not pose a risk to national security. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. Mayorkas added that only Congress could provide permanent protection for the so-called Dreamers. 

“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," Mayorkas said.

Homeland Security released a statement saying “the 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.”

The status of the people currently enrolled in the program will not change and they can seek renewal of their DACA status but Homeland Security will not be able to accept new applicants.