CIRI AWG PRESS RELEASE
July 19, 2016
Contact: Karina Martinez
kmartinez [at] ufwfoundation.org
WASHINGTON— More than 728,000 people who have been able to improve their lives since Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was implemented, and President Obama’s executive action to protect certain immigrants from deportation can still benefit many people.
On the four-year anniversary of DACA, a new report by the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation’s (CIRI) Advocacy Working Group details how DACA has helped improve the lives of recipients, their families and communities. Although the Supreme Court failed to issue a definitive ruling on an expansion of DACA and creation of a similar program for parents of legal residents and citizens, an estimated one million people are still eligible to apply for the original program. Meanwhile, the CIRI report “DACA After United States v. Texas: Recommendations for the President,” recommends ways in which the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can do more to strengthen DACA and encourage people to apply.
Among the report’s top recommendations:
- Make DACA more affordable by expanding access to fee exemptions and waivers and letting applicants use credit cards to pay filing fees.
- Allow more flexibility and discretion in determining which applicants qualify on an individual basis; and categorically exclude state criminal offenses that target immigrants and minorities.
- Process requests for DACA more efficiently by providing automatic, temporary grants of DACA for renewals, reminding people to renew using text and email, allowing applicants to use more sworn affidavits, and telling rejected applicants why they didn’t qualify for DACA.
- Keep DACA applications confidential and protect sensitive juvenile records.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Texas was heartbreaking, but the court’s failure to act means President Obama has a moral responsibility to exercise his regulatory and administrative authority to improve upon the original DACA initiative, which continues to remain in full effect. The recommendations in this report represent common-sense improvements that would drive up application rates, lead to fairer adjudications, and reaffirm the president’s commitment to the immigrant community,” said co-author and Advocacy Working Group co-chair, Jose Magaña-Salgado, Managing Policy Attorney for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
DACA’s success has hinged on state and local governments working with nonprofit agencies, which have collaborated to educate people about DACA and its benefits and to provide legal services to applicants. The report was drafted by CIRI members, who are national-level immigrant advocate groups that have continually worked with the administration to implement DACA and other immigration initiatives.
The ILRC is a co-chair of the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI) Advocacy Working Group. This report was co-authored by the ILRC and other members of CIRI's Advocacy Working Group and includes our expert recommendations on strengthening the existing DACA program.