It was June 15, 2012, when President Barack Obama during a speech in the White House Rose Garden announced the creation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The act protects the children of illegal immigrants from deportation for a period of two years. The young people “Dreamers” who are protected by DACA must file an initial application to legally remain in the country and request work permits drivers licenses and help with tuition. The permit must be renewed every two years.
In February of 2015, President Obama’s attempt to expand DACA was thwarted by an injunction issued by the District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Texas and 24 other republican led states filed suit to have the DACA expansion enjoined. Ultimately, in a split decision, the Supreme Court upheld the injunction without establishing any precedent.
Yesterday, September 5, 2017, President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions sounded what may be DACA’s death knell. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had earlier written the Trump Administration demanding a “phasing off” of DACA. The missive threatened a law suit against the administration if DACA was not rescinded by the fifth of September. One governor and attorney generals (Republicans all) from nine other states lent their names to the communication.
Earlier this year representatives of the Hispanic Caucus met with John Kelly the Secretary of Homeland Security. Kelly confirmed the caucuses fears about the future of DACA and the 800,000 young people it protects. Secretary Kelly specifically cited legal challenges to DACA as the reason he called the meeting.
Multiple examinations of the program have revealed that DACA benefits Dreamers and the nation alike. Ninety-five percent of those enrolled in DACA are working and or pursuing higher education. The national benefits of the Dreamers’ desire to be productive citizens are manifold. People who work pay taxes. Educated people who work pay even higher taxes. The gainfully employed pump money into the economy and are able to make big ticket purchases like homes a college education and automobiles.
The rude awakening the Dreamers are facing has filled them with dread and uncertainty. Take heart, right-thinking people across the US stand with you.
Lacey and Larkin’s Frontera Fund stands in the vanguard of the fight to save DACA. The Frontera Fund is offering information and assistance not only to preserve DACA but to get Dream Act Legislation passed that will make DACA a law.