After DACA Decision, Congress Must Act to Protect Dreamers, Families

On Friday, July 16, the U.S. District Court in Houston issued a decision that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program is unlawful, thereby partially halting it.

“The decision that DACA is unlawful is flawed and cruel, disrupting the lives of millions of recipients and their families. The ruling which partially halts the DACA program only serves to once again force hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families to face uncertainty at a time when our country is just starting down the path to recovery. DACA recipients have grown up here and call this country home. We are a better country thanks to their many contributions, including those who have served on the frontlines to keep our communities safe, fed, healthy, and cared for throughout the pandemic,” said Wendy Cervantes, director of immigration and immigrant families at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). 

“This decision puts DACA recipients and their families--including a quarter-of-a-million U.S. citizen children--in harm’s way and shatters the dreams of thousands of immigrant youth who have been waiting to qualify for DACA. The DACA program has proven to be a success, not just for recipients, but for all of us. This is the time to build on that success, create a long-term solution, and move forward together. We’ve learned during the COVID crisis how much our wellbeing is interconnected with those around us, and DACA recipients and their children are essential to our nation’s future.

We are grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for their stated intention to continue to protect DACA and to appeal this decision. We also appreciate congressional leaders who are committed to securing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and Dreamers. We urge our nation’s leaders to stand by these young people at this critical moment and provide them with long overdue relief by providing a path to citizenship through budget reconciliation.”