Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was a key federal program protecting Dreamers. (To appease the AP: “Dreamers” are often the title for DACA recipients, from Sen Dick Durbin’s DREAM Act.)
On Friday, a judge ruled against it, staying the admission of new applicants. This comes after years of Congress sitting on legislation that could avoid this problem.
These groups have been waiting for years on a path to citizenship, through revolving doors. Today, over 600,000 DACA recipients now face challenges to their status, the question remains.
Judge Hanen is *not* ordering the Biden administration to cancel the work permits and deportation protections for the 616,000 immigrants enrolled in DACA.
Hanen is staying (suspending) his order in that respect. But he is barring DHS from granting DACA to new applicants. pic.twitter.com/EETuVtyC9W
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) July 16, 2021
Where is Congress?
The DREAM Act is one of many pieces of legislation that so often finds a challenge in the Senate. Since its inception, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois has brought it to the Senate Floor. In every session, along with attempts to improve immigration processes in the United States, Senate Democrats have pressed on this issue.
For too many years, Congress has looked the other way and found excuses to put off this decision.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) July 16, 2021
As Presidents and judges have come and gone, DACA has been a revolving door. Its status as a federal program has been a point of contention, with some believing that it shouldn’t exist at all.
Even though it serves a population nearly the size of DC that have lived their lives in the United States.
Dreamers hold jobs, space, and pay taxes in their communities. Yet federal executive and judicial voices continue to be the only players. DACA recipients still don’t hold a path to citizenship and renewal in the program only ensures that they won’t be deported.
Today’s wrongly-decided ruling brazenly flouts the law & precedent, as it casts a cloud of fear & uncertainty around #Dreamers, who are a pride of our nation. Democrats will continue to press for any & all paths to ensure that the Dream & Promise Act becomes the law of the land.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 17, 2021
Senators have pointed to the need for DACA recipients; Dreamers to find codification in law.
Moving forward, they need access to full citizenship, along with the rights and privileges that some resident aliens achieve after living in the US for 3 years.
Moreover, my reporting has pointed to one thing every time: Dreamers need the protection of federal legislation. Changing administrations and judicial appointments can be detrimental to an executive program or any executive action.
My heart breaks for these young people whose lives & future have been held hostage by government inaction. Dreamers love our country and are American in every way, but official paper work. Most Americans agree.
It’s way past time for Congress to show some damn back-bone and act! https://t.co/LJqUlmAXa9
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 17, 2021
Federal legislation, however, can consistently have a long-term impact on DACA recipients. With a bill, legal challenges shift from questions of executive authority.
It doesn’t offer holistic protection — some thought the Voting Rights Act would make it through the Supreme Court — but it does offer some.
Ana Navarro said it best: “It’s way past time for Congress to show some damn [backbone] and act!”
I’ve enjoyed being an excitable “Gen Z Themfluencer,” working in politics, writing as a student journalist, and discussing what matters most. I currently produce and host podcasts, contribute to hyper-local news outlets and continue my education as a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland.