On Friday, July 16, 2021, a federal judge in Texas ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unlawful. Established in 2012, DACA enables certain immigrants to obtain work permits and avoid deportation. The program currently provides a temporary reprieve for more than 600,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, often referred to as “Dreamers.” While the ruling will not affect current DACA recipients or prevent them from renewing their two-year work permits, it will stop new applications.
Texas is home to the second-largest number of DACA recipients in the country behind California with over 106,000 participants according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. At least 1 million Texas children live in mixed-status households that could be affected by this ruling. A ruling made by a federal judge living in Texas and stemming from a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
DACA isn’t a perfect program. It was never intended to be a long-term solution to the challenges of growing up undocumented, nor is it a substitute for a true path to citizenship. Rulings like this one, emphasize the urgent need for immigration reform. Reform that needs to prioritize the well-being of children above partisan politics. Inaction leaves far too many families in fear of being uprooted or separated from loved ones. Families that attend Texas schools, pay Texas taxes and contribute to a vibrate state community and economy.
As an organization that advocates for the well-being of all children across Texas regardless of their immigration status, we urge our federal representatives to secure a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and Dreamers. It’s time to move beyond the promise of DACA and to give our families real reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.
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Help us urge Congress to take action in support of DACA recipients, Dreamers, and their families. Send a message to your representative today!
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