Washington, D.C. – This morning, the Fifth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the 600,000+ immigrants it is currently protecting. The ongoing legal uncertainty comes as a result of last summer’s ruling by a federal judge in Texas in favor of putting a partial end to and stopping new applications for DACA.
Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, Deputy Director of Federal Advocacy of United We Dream (UWD), said:
“Over a decade ago, undocumented youth shared their stories and forced the nation to reckon with the cruelty of our immigration system. We won DACA through relentless organizing and mobilizations from young people of color nationwide, but the past ten years have left our community undefended from constant right-wing attacks. The truth is that DACA is not only right, it is legal and it has helped hundreds of thousands of young people finish school, apply for a work permit, and be protected from detention and deportation. Although the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the right wing charge against DACA, the state of Texas has had significant economic and social benefits from the program. Texas has only benefited from DACA, and the Fifth Circuit Court must recognize that.
We deserve more than just temporary protections that leave us at the whim of a court. We need President Biden to vehemently defend and expand the program to protect more people. We also need Congress to pass permanent protections not just for DACA recipients and DACA eligible youth, but for the 11 million undocumented people living in this country. Our community has proved its fearlessness in the face of threats and adversity, but lawsuits like this continue to leave millions of people in fear and uncertainty.”