The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Texas v. U.S. brings our nation one step closer to losing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which for more than a decade has allowed thousands of people to secure their lives in the United States. While the court’s decision keeps DACA in place for the immediate term for current recipients, it essentially deems the program unlawful and sends the case back to the lower district court in Texas for final consideration.
In its earlier ruling in this case, the Texas district court made clear its disregard for the dignity and livelihood of immigrants. That court has now been given another opportunity to consider the legality of the DACA program in light of a new Biden administration regulation which goes into effect at the end of this month. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people and families remain in agonizing limbo about their future in the United States.
NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy responded with the following statement:
“As Congress has continually failed to agree on legislation that provides permanent legal status for undocumented community members, the DACA program has provided a lifeline. For more than 10 years, people who had previously been left behind by our elected officials have deepened and strengthened their roots in our communities. DACA’s end would be felt well beyond the people who now, once again, find themselves perilously close to losing legal protection. DACA recipients are our loved ones, neighbors, and colleagues. No one should suffer the indignity of having their family unity, livelihoods, and basic human rights subject to the political whims of our increasingly divided nation — but that has been the reality for more than three decades now for people living in this country without documentation. Congress must stop playing political games and urgently pass a clean bill providing a path to citizenship for undocumented communities.”
NIJC continues to encourage DACA recipients to renew their protection, and for the time being will continue to offer free DACA renewal clinics.