(San Francisco, CA)—The 9th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program marks the continued determination of the immigrant community battling against hateful and racist policies to win relief, but unfortunately highlights the continued danger faced by immigrant communities at the hands of the Biden Harris Administration’s enforcement and detention practices.
“Immigrant youth and other members of our communities organized, demanded and won DACA in 2012, protected the program during the Trump Administration, and are still waiting for Congress to enact a permanent solution,” said Veronica Garcia, Staff Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). “Nine years after the DACA program was won, DACA recipients still live in fear that at any time, they could lose protection at the whim of a judge’s ruling. Immigration enforcement, detention and deportation tears apart our communities and must be ended now.”
On this anniversary, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing on the American Dream and Promise Act, which passed out of the House earlier this year. While this bill is a result of years of tireless advocacy, it disqualifies certain immigrant youth and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders who have had contact with the criminal legal system or criminal convictions from eligibility for relief.
Legislation premised on the notion that individuals subject to overpolicing, racial profiling or otherwise impacted by a criminal legal system infected by racism should be treated as disposable falls short of ILRC’s vision for immigrant justice. As the American Dream and Promise Act makes its way through Congress we urge the Biden Harris Administration to act immediately to end its immigration enforcement activities, immigration detention and the deportation of our immigrant community members.
The ILRC will continue advocating for the New Way Forward Act that would decriminalize immigration and address injustices and systemic racism in the U.S. immigration system.