DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is currently in place and accepting applications. The program was created by former president Obama in 2012 to assist folks who were brought to the United States as children. It’s serves as a bar to deportation and provides work authorization. The Trump administration sought to reverse these protections however they were thwarted by the courts.
Despite the Biden administrations good words about DACA, a fatal threat is on the horizon. Texas and eight other states are asking the courts to end DACA. They argue the program is unconstitutional and forces states to bear extra costs from providing DACA recipients with services like education. A Texas federal judge held a hearing in December however he has yet to make a ruling. It’s expected that he will rule against DACA because in 2015 he ruled against similar protections for parents of Dreamers as unconstitutional. Finally given the 6 – 3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, it’s likely that the ruling will be upheld.
Accordingly, the Biden administration and its allies need to convert DACA protections into legislative action. To that end Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reintroduced the Dream Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 2 million undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers. The bill has been around for 20 years without being signed into law.
“Passing the Dream Act is still my highest legislative priority,” a very emotional Durbin said in a 16-minute last month. He added: The Texas DACA case “is a reminder that a law has to pass.”
The protection of Dreamers enjoys widespread support by Americans on both sides of the aisle. It’s time our law reflects the will of the people.