One Year Later: Dreamers and Their Families Remain in Limbo

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Trump Administration’s cruel and misguided decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since its inception in 2012, the DACA program has significantly improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant young people and their families. By providing work authorization and temporary relief from deportation to more than 820,000, DACA has helped Dreamers gain economic security, support their families, and contribute to their communities and the nation. These young people came to the United States as children, and America is their home. Today, they are students, workers, and parents whose lives are firmly rooted in our communities. They provide crucial services—for example as teachers and health care providers—and more than a quarter have a child who is a U.S. citizen.

A year later, their future and that of DACA remains in limbo. As a result of multiple successful legal challenges to the administration’s action, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must continue to accept and process DACA renewals; however, no new applications are being accepted. A U.S. district court ruling last week denied a request by Texas and nine other states to end DACA renewals and does not change the orders of previous courts that also rejected President Trump’s decision.

But these legal rulings do not provide permanent protections for Dreamers and do nothing to offer stability and a secure future to hundreds of thousands of immigrant young people wanting to pursue their education and career goals without the fear of being uprooted from their homes and separated from their families. The rulings also fail to bring stability to the families and communities that depend on the Dreamers and to ensure the nation benefits from their dedication and skills. CLASP recently had the chance to interview one such Dreamer, a recent college graduate, whose story we featured in a blog to illustrate how DACA’s protections are helping young people like him achieve their hopes, dreams, and career aspirations—and contribute to their communities.

CLASP proudly stands with courageous undocumented immigrant young people and encourages all eligible recipients to complete their DACA renewals immediately. We will continue to work with our federal and state partners to protect immigrant youth and families and advocate for the passage of a clean Dream Act to bring an end to the instability and uncertainty unnecessarily brought upon this group of youth.