226 Groups Demand Democrats Protect Immigrant Youth in End-of-Year Package

November 15, 2022

Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

226 Groups Demand Democrats Protect Immigrant Youth in End-of-Year Package

WASHINGTON — Today, as reported by POLITICO, a coalition of 226 organizations, representing many constituencies, urged Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer to prioritize protections for immigrant youth and DACA recipients by including permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrant youth in any end-of-year package.

In the following weeks, Congress has the opportunity to protect immigrant youth following the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision finding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy unlawful. DACA has protected more than 830,000 young people from deportation, allowing them to work, study, and contribute fully to American society. With voters, by a 2-to-1 margin, supporting Congress taking immediate action to provide permanent legal status to DACA recipients, the letter makes clear to Speaker Pelosi and Leaders Schumer that the time to act is now.

Excerpts of the letter, led by United We Dream, the Immigration Hub, UnidosUS, the National Immigration Law Center and other partners include:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer,

The over 225 undersigned state, local, and national immigrant, labor, faith, civil, health, and human rights organizations write to urge you to take action to protect immigrant youth and DACA recipients. Immigrant youth across the country have been calling for permanent protections with a pathway to citizenship for decades. The implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 gave life-changing protection from deportation and the ability to work lawfully to hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth. But it has never been enough.

Early last month, DACA-eligible youth received the decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on the DACA policy and were once again left with uncertainty and a threat to their livelihood and ability to stay in the country they call home. The Fifth Circuit upheld a lower ruling finding the 2012 DACA memo to be unlawful and sent the case back to the lower court to consider the Biden administration’s new DACA regulation. Once again, immigrant youth have been left to anxiously await another court decision that will most likely upend their lives and futures. While this decision allowed for DACA renewals to continue temporarily, over 90,000 DACA-eligible youth continue to have their initial applications stalled. The writing on the wall is clear: DACA is dying. As Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate, we urge you to prioritize DACA protections in any end-of-year package.

The time to act is now, the potential incoming anti-immigrant majority in the House has been crystal clear in their opposition to providing protections for undocumented immigrants. Immigrant youth cannot continue to wait for Congress to act while the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court await the opportunity to terminate the program once and for all. In this time of deep urgency, we need your leadership to ensure Congress passes this long overdue and urgently needed legislation.

The full letter can be read here.