Two years ago today, on September 5, 2017, the administration announced that it was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protected from removal and provided work permits to immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children before July 2012. That decision placed over 700,000 immigrant young adults in legal limbo, unsure if they’ll be forced to leave the U.S, which for many is the only country they truly know.
Since then, multiple federal courts found the administration’s rationale for ending the program unlawful, and ordered the government to continue to renew DACA status. No new applications have been accepted since September 5, 2017, however.
The Supreme Court will take up the administration’s appeal from those decisions in its upcoming term beginning in October 2019. In the meantime, DACA holders, who, despite their lack of permanent legal status, are students, employees, entrepreneurs, employers, community members, homeowners , consumers, volunteers and part of our society in every respect, do not know what their futures will hold. Should they have to leave, our communities, and our economy will suffer.
The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which would provide a path to permanent residency for DACA holders and those who have had Temporary Protected Status for years and decades, has passed in the House of Representatives. On this second anniversary of DACA’s rescission, it is high time for the Senate to bring it to a vote and approve it as well.