DACA HITS 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPARKING RENEWED CALLS FOR PASSAGE OF THE “DREAM ACT”
The law known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly referred to as “DACA,” was passed 10-years ago this month (June 15, 2012) during President Barack Obama’s Administration. DACA protects individuals who arrived in the United States as children and affords them legal protection from deportation, along with giving them the right to work. While the law was a significant step in the direction of providing protection to a large class of people living in the United States, immigration advocates have fought hard since the passage of DACA to provide recipients with a pathway toward permanent legal residence or citizenship. The proposal to allow DACA recipients a pathway toward citizenship is known as the “Dream Act” and DACA eligible recipients are often referred to as “Dreamers.”
On the 10th anniversary since the passage of DACA, there is now renewed calls for passage of the Dream Act. Commenting on the need for passage of the law, United States Senator Alex Padilla of California stated “Dreamers put their health, that of their families, on the line for the rest of the nation during the pandemic. They deserve better than to live in uncertainty, or fear in change of status or possible deportation.” California is home to more immigrants and “Dreamers” than any other state.
During the administration of President Donald Trump there were challenges to DACA. However, the United States Supreme Court left the law intact and rejected those challenges. Many now fear that the Supreme Court, in light of the recent ruling striking down the Roe v. Wade decision, could change its position. For that reason, immigration advocates have renewed calls for passage of the Dream Act. Summarizing the view of many, Congressman Dan Newhouse of Washington commented “Congress can no longer continue to kick this can down the road, we have to have a permanent solution signed into law.”
More than 500 college presidents and leaders of major corporations have joined the chorus of advocates calling for passage of the Dream Act. Although the law has been introduced 11 times in Congress, with bi-partisan support from both Democrats and Republicans, it has yet to become law.
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