WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On day one, President Joe Biden initiated the reversal of immigration measures and moved to strengthen the deferred action for childhood arrivals.
In 2020, many DACA recipients felt like they were in limbo. Now, with a new administration trying to pave the way to preserve and fortify DACA, recipients feel like they are getting their lives back.
Brought to the U.S. nlawfully by their parents at a young age, many DACA recipients have carried the worry of being sent back to a country they don’t even know anymore.
"This is where I've grown up. This is where I've established my friends. This is where I've established my home. All I know is the United States," said one anonymous DACA recipient.
That recipient said a weight was lifted off his shoulders Wednesday when President Biden signed the first measures to change immigration policy.
"Things are looking up. Things are not guaranteed still, but they are looking up," the recipient said.
What happens now to those who are currently detained by ICE or waiting to be deported after the president signed an executive order to halt deportations for the next 100 days?
"Individuals who are detained will mostly likely benefit from this reprieve from deportation, not only because they won't be deported but because immigration judges will feel more comfortable issuing bond," said attorney Renato Castro with the Castro Legal Group.
There are also questions about whether President Biden’s pathway to citizenship will put priority on those who have been waiting for decades for legal status.
"I don't think you should be able to have come here, let's say, three weeks ago, let's say, before January 1, now qualify for a green card just by coming to the border while people have been waiting outside the country 10, 15, 20 years to come here legally," said attorney Richard Hujber from the Immigration Law Offices of Richard Hujber.
Hujber said it's unclear how much of the new administration's policies will be accomplished, given the quick turnarounds in the Senate.
Castro agrees it will take more than proposing a plan to develop a path to citizenship.
"Biden opens a discussion and the reason why I say a discussion is because it has to go through the democratic process of a proposed law being voted by Senate and Congress which is preoccupied by the high number of unemployed Americans today. It will be a battle of the ages," Castro said.