Washington, D.C. – Today marks 11 years since the announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), an executive action policy fought for by immigrant youth. DACA has allowed for access to work permits and protection from deportation for hundreds of thousands of young people, despite the near constant attacks and legal challenges to the program. Earlier this year, alongside NILC, CAP, and Tom Wong, UWD released the 2022 National DACA survey.
Most recently, Judge Hanen of the Southern District of Texas heard oral arguments on the Texas v.s. United States DACA case brought by nine Republican Attorneys General. Currently nearly 600,000 current DACA recipients remain in limbo while over 90,000 first-time DACA eligible applicants remain with their applications frozen.
Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, Deputy Director of Federal Advocacy of United We Dream, said:
“Immigrant youth bravely and boldly put their bodies on the line over a decade ago, pushing then President Obama and Vice President Biden to protect us from deportation and obtain a work permit to provide for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Now, over eleven years later, Congress’ continued inaction has led to multiple court challenges to DACA which put DACA recipients and DACA eligible youth in limbo. It has led to over 100,000 of undocumented high school graduates in 2023 who no longer even qualify for DACA. This moment has shown us once again that DACA will never be enough for our community. On this 11 year anniversary we need President Biden and Congress to recognize the threats to DACA, and acknowledge that more needs to be done to protect all immigrants by finally passing an inclusive and expansive pathway to citizenship.”
Aurora Lozano Chavez, DACA Eligible Member of United We Dream Texas, said:
“Living without DACA has been a hardship on me and my family. I feel limited in what I can do in the moment and what I can pursue for my future. I need DACA to finish my bachelor’s degree without worrying about the ability to meet my family’s basic needs and affording proper care for my mom’s medical condition. I am one of tens of thousands of people who qualified for DACA but have been shut out of having our applications processed. All of us, including those who never even qualified for DACA in the first place, need permanent protection now to feel safe and not in constant fear of detention and deportation.”