Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

DACA at 12 is on life support and already leaving out many young immigrants

By 37ci3 Jun15,2024

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States will count their blessings Saturday as they celebrate the new anniversary of a program that allows them to stay, study, work and build a life in the country.

Millions of people who came here as children and didn’t fit in wish they were so lucky.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program began 12 years ago Saturday. While its beneficiaries so far hope to gain permanent legal status in the United States, they also note that they have access to education, better-paying jobs, families and homes they can build, and freedom from fear of arrest and deportation. This came as a result of an executive order by President Barack Obama.

But their memorial service is tempered by the prospect of Republicans succeeding in their legal and political fight to end DACA. Donald Trump, who He tried to end DACA He stopped new applications and was able to be re-elected president.

DACA recipients as well as more than a million young immigrants who could have qualified for DACA but were denied because of Republican struggles and the suspension of new DACA applications.

DACA supporters protested in front of the White House
Ricky Campos, 23, and Katye Hernandez, 22, both undocumented immigrants from El Salvador, hold signs reading “Thank you President Obama” in front of the White House on June 15, 2012.Jacquelyn Martin / AP file

By 2025, no undocumented high school graduates would be eligible for DACA, as they would have entered the United States after the June 15, 2007, required arrival in the United States. According to FWD.USa progressive group focused on immigration and criminal justice.

“Young people who were undocumented in elementary school and are now entering or graduating middle or high school face an uncertain future, just like I did when I was in their shoes,” said Greisa Martínez Rosas, executive director of the United We Dream network. , an advocacy group led by immigrant youth. Martínez graduated high school undocumented but received DACA in 2013.

Those realities have created an urgency in this election, with many immigrant advocates who have criticized President Joe Biden for not doing more to protect them, while also favoring his re-election.

“President Biden can walk and chew gum at the same time, and so can we,” Martinez said. “We can be clear about the tremendous needs facing millions of undocumented people and the failure of this president or administration to act, and we can also be clear that we cannot have a second Trump administration.”

Biden campaign spokeswoman Fabiola Rodriguez said in a statement, “On day one, President Biden sent Congress a plan to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers and did everything in his power to protect and strengthen the DACA program, including by expanding affordable, quality health care. The ACA for more than 100,000 Dreamers access to care through.” He added that Trump is “promising to end the DACA program, separate families and build mass immigration detention camps.”

Trump campaign spokesman Jaime Florez said he had no comment on the DACA anniversary or Trump’s plans for DACA.

There are currently approximately 530,000 people in the United States under DACA. About 84,000 pending applications were submitted during the period when the ban on new applications was briefly lifted. In 2023, the Migration Policy Institute estimates that 1.16 million immigrants will be eligible for DACA by 2012. if the program were allowed to continue without legal attempts to stop it.

It is a block in new applications and lives in an indeterminate state

The Biden administration began accepting new DACA applications in 2021, and that’s when Reyna Valdivias Solorio filed. But his application stalled when a Texas court ruled DACA illegal and again blocked the processing of all new applications. The Biden administration is still accepting but not reviewing new applications.

A recent graduate of Nevada State University, Valdivias holds a degree in business administration with an emphasis in financial services. He hoped to become a financial analyst. Instead, he works with his father in construction and landscaping.

“I’m a 110-pound girl who lifts wheelbarrows heavier than I weigh, digs knee-deep ditches and lives in extreme fatigue in the Las Vegas heat,” Valdivias said at a rally at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. But that’s not the hard part, he said.

“The hardest part is the emotional stress of living with the fear that one day my older sisters, my parents and I might be deported and separated from my younger siblings in this country we call home,” she said. Her younger siblings were born in the United States and are not at risk of deportation.

Dreamers and DACA supporters rally outside the US Supreme Court on Thursday, June 18, 2020.
DACA supporters protested outside the Supreme Court on June 18, 2020, after the court denied the Trump administration’s request to end the program.via Bill Clark/Getty Images

Alexis Toro Juarez, a biology student at Marymount University in Virginia who hopes to attend dental school, planned to apply for DACA. She had an application, was fingerprinted and was just waiting for her Social Security card when the courts closed the applications again.

“After high school, I was worried about being able to finish my education,” Toro Juarez said. scholarship through Dream.US, provided scholarships to undocumented students, paid college tuition.

Eighteen-year-old Sergio Cipriano has just graduated high school in Phoenix and is headed to the University of Saint Mary in San Antonio to begin his dream of becoming a pediatrician. A spiritual person, she wanted to attend a religious school and was also able to attend college with a Dream.US scholarship.

He was brought to the United States when he was 1 year old. He applied for DACA as a freshman in high school, just meeting the eligibility requirements. A few weeks after receiving notification that your application has been received, A Texas judge’s ruling shut down the new applicationetc, he said.

“It’s terrible,” he said, about living without legal status and the possibility of deportation. “I can lose the life I have here – I carry it and it’s a lot, but I try not to be afraid.”

Abraham Enriquez, who leads the conservative Bienvenido USA, agreed with his liberal colleagues that some immigrants who arrived as children deserve a path to citizenship through congressional action. But like other Republicans, he said DACA should never have existed and should be repealed. He emphasized that he was speaking for himself and not for his group, which focused on the Hispanic icon.

The White House is planning an event next week Celebrate the anniversary of DACA. The administration is working to provide DACA recipients without health insurance Access to Affordable Care Act plans.

It has no legal status, but is part of society

Many of the young people removed from DACA follow their predecessors who fought for the program by becoming active or involved in civic and community life.

Valadivias, Toro Juarez and Cipriano were part of a contingent that visited lawmakers’ offices in D.C. and gathered at the Capitol last week. They are also involved in activist groups working to elect voters in this election.

Karime Rodriguez, a former DACA holder who is now a legal resident, said there is frustration in the community that a president has failed to implement immigration reform again.

“We know the candidates are not ideal right now,” said Rodriguez, manager of immigration services for the immigrant advocacy group LUCHA.

“We don’t vote for our saviors,” he said. “You need to vote for the candidate who will allow us to make change in the future – Trump is not that candidate.”

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By 37ci3

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