After Five Successful Years, DACA Faces Biggest Obstacle Yet

June 15, 2017

Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

After Five Successful Years, DACA Faces Biggest Obstacle Yet

WASHINGTON — Five years ago today, President Barack Obama, moved by the organizing and advocacy efforts of thousands of immigrant youth and allies across the country, announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The program has since opened up opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people who, despite being integral to their communities, until then had been limited by the threat of deportation and by few avenues to access higher education, jobs, and basic necessities like bank accounts. It allows eligible young immigrants who were brought to the country as children to live and work in the United States, and can be renewed every two years.

The Trump administration has said they do not intend to end the program. However, several reported cases of DACA recipients who were detained, targeted for speaking up, or deported, have created an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear, even for those protected from deportation.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Five years in, DACA has had a transformative impact in the lives of young immigrants. It has opened the door so that hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth in our communities have an equal chance to achieve their full potential. By all measures, DACA has been a tremendous success—with great benefits for us all.

“Unfortunately, we now face serious challenges, the foremost of which is an administration that tells DACA recipients not to worry, but which seems intent on slowly eroding the program. Under President Trump, the federal government has broken its promise to DACA recipients—including Juan Manuel Montes, Dany Vargas, Daniel Ramirez, and Jessica Colotl—to allow them to live and work in the country they call home without fear. This administration, through hateful rhetoric and careless policy-making, has emboldened agents to target, detain, and even unlawfully deport DACA recipients.

“The status quo is unsustainable. We need a permanent solution now. President Trump must do more than provide DACA recipients empty reassurances when prompted by the media. He must stop threatening their sense of safety and dignity and provide unequivocal protection to DACA recipients now. Immigrant youth and their families should be allowed to thrive in our communities and continue making our country great.”

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