us ‘dreamers’ demand action as court ruling fuels uncertainty
US – Thursday’s protest comes just hours after a US appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that found the Deferred Action for Children’s Arrivals (DACA) program “illegal” and left the scheme’s future uncertain.
Shouting “home here” outside the US Capitol, dozens of migrants who came to the United States as children and their supporters called on lawmakers to defend a program that protects them from deportation.
“I live in constant fear every single day,” Monica Camacho, who came to the US from Mexico as a child and received her DACA in 2013, said over a speakerphone during a live rally. Camacho said getting DACA — a status she must renew every two years — allowed her to buy a house and become a teacher, but the fact that the program is vulnerable to legal challenges and political whims puts her and other recipients in limbo. “I’m tired of constantly telling politicians what I’m worth,” Camacho said.
DACA was created in 2012 under the administration of then President Barack Obama. It provides security from deportation to illegal immigrants who came to the US as minors, and allows them, among other things, to work, study, open a business and obtain a driver’s license.
But DACA was passed by the executive branch after Congress failed to pass the American Dream and Pledge Act, a bill intended to put DACA recipients, often referred to as “dreamers”, on the path to becoming US citizens. This means that 10 years later, DACA remains temporary and can be terminated through legal action or further enforcement action.
Last year, a US District Judge in Texas declared DACA illegal, saying the program had not passed the required public notice and comment periods. Judge Andrew Hahnen has blocked new applications for DACA, but has allowed more than 600,000 people currently enrolled in the program to continue using it.