NASW Senior Policy Advisor
The U.S. District Court in Houston on July 16 issued a decision that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program is unlawful, thereby partially halting it.
The decision declaring DACA unlawful is based on flawed legal interpretation but more than that it punishes millions of DACA recipients and their families. In essence, the ruling halts new and pending applications to the DACA program, thereby leaving hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families in limbo. It is important to emphasize that most DACA recipients have grown up in the United States and have embraced the country’s values and opportunities. Without a doubt they and their families have made many contributions to our economy and culture.
It is unacceptable that this ruling means that millions of people will be placed in a precarious and unclear existence. The fact is the DACA program is a proven success. Instead of curtailing the program, it is time to build on that success and to create a long-term solution to immigration-related problems.
It is commendable the Biden-Harris Administration plans to appeal the DACA ruling. It is also commendable that the administration has asked Congress to use the legislative process of reconciliation to continue to protect DACA eligible. Now it is up to congressional leaders to remain committed to securing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and Dreamers.