By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Sept. 22, 2023: On June 15, 2012, 11 plus years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, colloquially referred to as DACA, was introduced as an executive branch memorandum by President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. The executive order allowed young migrants under 16, who came to the US with their parents and had no legal working papers, the chance to obtain a work permit, travel documents and protection from deportation in 2-year increments.
Since 20212, there has been a lot of talk about granting DACA recipients, known as DREAMERS, a path to securing a green card and then citizenship. But each time, the talk has been nothing, but idle rhetoric and Dreamers continue to hang on by a thread, even through they are US taxpayers and upstanding members of society.
Now Dreamers are under threat again as Texas Judge Andrew Hanen, presiding over the case brought by lawmakers in his state, last week ruled that DACA violates federal administrative law.
While the recent ruling does not immediately terminate the program and Hanen’s decision does not mandate immigration enforcement actions against DACA recipients or applicants, it has again raised concerns.
Advocates for the program view this ruling as a call to action for Congress to pass legislation. However, achieving legislative progress in the realm of immigration has proven challenging, given ongoing debates about work visas, asylum, and border security.
Senator Richard J. Durbin, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed disappointment with the ruling. He has signaled an intention to reignite discussions on immigration reform. Durbin even suggested revisiting the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, last considered in 2013, as a potential basis for a compromise.
However, the path forward remains uncertain, as passing any DACA-related legislation would require significant bipartisan support, including backing from at least nine Republicans and the Republican-controlled House.
Senator Lindsey Graham echoed the need for legislative action, citing concerns about border security and undocumented immigration under the Biden administration. While he is willing to make an effort, Graham acknowledges the challenges of passing such legislation.
Senator John Cornyn, who has supported bipartisan immigration proposals in the past, expressed doubts about the current political climate. He believes that the administration’s approach to border security has created obstacles to reaching a consensus on immigration legislation.
While the House Judiciary Committee has proposed some bipartisan initiatives, including a bill by Representatives Maria Elvira Salazar and Veronica Escobar, there is still much work to be done to bridge the political divide.
Judge Hanen’s ruling emphasizes the necessity of congressional action regarding DACA, highlighting the need for a legislative solution. As the legal battle unfolds, DACA recipients and a new generation of immigrants face uncertain futures, underscoring the urgency for lawmakers to address this critical issue.
The Biden administration has committed to continuing the processing of DACA renewals as the legal case progresses, with an expectation that the ruling will be appealed. While this legal battle continues, the fate of DACA and its beneficiaries remains uncertain.
Ultimately, the ruling sends a clear message that Congress must take action to provide permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented residents IN the United States versus those flooding cities, sucking up resources and moving ahead of the proverbial line with asylum claims!
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com – The Black Immigrant Daily News.