A decade ago, we won DACA through the fierce and relentless organizing by undocumented youth who bravely put their bodies on the line. As we remember this historic day, it also marks a decade of inaction by Congress to deliver on their promises of permanent protections for our communities.
While DACA has given needed relief to over 830,000 undocumented youth, it has always been a temporary program. For the past few years, the DACA program has been under attack, surviving callous attempts to end the program, while immigrant youth have courageously and successfully fought back in the courts and won at every level, including the Supreme Court.
Today, DACA continues to be under attack, with 80,000 new DACA applications currently stalled, leaving thousands who have not been able to have their applications processed in limbo. In less than a month, the case will be back in court and heard in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
As our member Johana Larios, plaintiff in Batalla Vidal v. Wolf lawsuit, whose DACA first-time application is stalled since Judge Hanen’s ruling last year, said: “For the past four years, I have been denied the opportunity to apply for DACA. I have been living in limbo, waiting for court decision after court decision with enormous uncertainty, fearing that I could be separated from my children.”
On this day, our message to Congress is clear: Congress must act so that our communities have the protections they deserve, they must use every tool at its disposal to deliver a pathway to citizenship for all our community members.