How Promoting a Merit-Based Immigration System Can Help Alleviate the DACA Problem

21 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2020

Date Written: December 06, 2019


The Supreme Court began hearing arguments on November 12, 2019 as to whether the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is judicially reviewable, and whether DHS’s decision to wind down the DACA policy is lawful. The likely wind down of DACA will affect more than 700,000 individuals who came to the U.S. as children without proper documentation, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” after the DREAM Act was proposed in 2017, but failed to pass.

They are generally college-educated, high-skilled workers, members of the military, and heads of families that include U.S. citizen children. Despite overwhelming support (Recent polls indicate that 86% of the American public would like to see those who qualify for DACA granted residency), Congress has failed to provide these individuals with an opportunity to obtain permanent residency.

This paper stresses the problems with the current immigration system, emphasizing the need to change the current employment-based visa system that has not been updated to keep up with technological advances in the growing international economy.

Although many companies in the country publicly “stand with” those affected by the likely repeal of DACA, lobbying for a change in the employment-based system to allow for qualified individuals to obtain residency through work visas is a better approach than pushing for amnesty, which has failed in the past.

Allowing DACA recipients to qualify for employment-based visas alleviates unemployment in the United States while also rewarding those individuals who obtained the skills and education to stay competitive in the current career market.

Keywords: DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Deferred Action, immigration, law, Immigration law, Merit-based, Merit, Points, Point system, Believe Act, Reform, EB-3, EB-4, Employment-based, Employment, Job Shortage, Nurses, STEM, Math, Science, Engineering, Microsoft, Apple, Trump, Supreme court

Suggested Citation

Gallegos, Jose, How Promoting a Merit-Based Immigration System Can Help Alleviate the DACA Problem (December 06, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Jose Gallegos (Contact Author)

Western State College of Law ( email )

1 Banting
Irvine, CA 92618
United States

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