(San Francisco, CA) --Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. DACA was won through the leadership and organizing of undocumented youth, who often risked everything to fight for dignity and inclusion. DACA has provided stability to more than 830,000 individuals and continues to benefit over 611,000 people today. DACA recipients have been able to pursue higher education, secure employment, advance their careers, travel abroad to visit their home communities, and contribute to their families’ and communities’ well-being.
While DACA has provided relief for some, it remains a temporary and limited solution ripe for anti-immigrant and racist attacks. Without a full and permanent solution, even those who meet the strict and narrow requirements to qualify for DACA are left in a continuous cycle of renewal, with no path to a secure legal status.
“DACA has been so important for so many and allowed countless families to pursue pathways to stability and security. However, DACA has also kept many immigrants in a legal limbo while excluding various other community members along the way,” said Veronica Garcia, a Staff Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). “Since DACA’s inception, the ILRC has dedicated itself to supporting high quality legal services to ensure DACA is accessible to as many eligible individuals as possible. The ILRC has worked to make DACA as meaningful as possible and fought tirelessly for DACA to be more inclusive, including for individuals who have had contact with the criminal legal system.”
DACA was further limited by a decision from a federal court in Texas’s ruling that DACA was unlawful, leaving DACA recipients in legal uncertainty about the future. This case will be heard next month at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Winning DACA and the ensuing 10 years have shown us that immigrant communities need a solution that is full and permanent, that allows communities to live with dignity and recognition. As we again encounter inaction by Congress, we call on the Biden administration to step up and meet the needs of our communities by stopping the detention and deportation of undocumented youth and their families,” Garcia said.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us at www.ilrc.org, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC