Facts and Messaging on the State of DACA

Today (Monday) is the deadline President Trump gave Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect Dreamers from deportation after he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). It will be a difficult day for nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, many hundreds of thousands more Dreamers, and millions of their family, friends, fellow churchgoers, colleagues and employers who are relying on Congress to take action.

Although court rulings allow current DACA recipients to renew, every DACA recipient’s future remains in limbo. In addition, numbers from USCIS indicate that not all recipients are renewing, and the agency also has a backlog of initial applications from before President Trump’s Sept. 5 rescission.

For Monday

Topline: We have reached the deadline President Trump gave Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect Dreamers from deportation after he ended DACA. Lawmakers have failed millions of Dreamers and their loved ones, friends, community members and employers.

  • This is an incredibly painful day for Dreamers and the Americans who work, attend church and school, and depend on them.
  • For months, President Trump has repeatedly said that Dreamers have nothing to worry about, but today Dreamers are more uncertain than ever about their futures in the only country they know as home.
  • 80 percent of Americans, including 59 percent of Republicans, support a solution that allows Dreamers to stay, keep contributing and eventually earn citizenship.
  • The overwhelming majority of DACA recipients are working, and thousands every week will lose work authorization as their DACA expires and while their renewals are pending. American businesses and workers will be left in the lurch.
  • The only real way to ease the sense of chaos and instability among DACA recipients and American employers is for Congress to pass a legislative solution. Dreamers are doing their jobs every day in the face of this urgent crisis. It is time for Congress to step up and do theirs.
  • Since ending DACA, President Trump has rejected multiple bipartisan deals that included billions in funding for a border wall — something he insisted on — and has refused to accept a deal that does not include huge cuts to legal immigration levels. Such cuts would devastate our economy, hurt American workers and families and fundamentally change the nature of who we are as a nation. Lawmakers and the Americans they represent reject such sweeping proposals.
  • Dreamers are workers and students pursuing their dreams. Some are loving parents to U.S. citizen children. They are teachers educating the next generation of American leaders, nurses caring for the sick and elderly, and engineers building our roads and bridges.

Court Rulings

Topline: DACA recipients will continue to fall out of status every day, and that rate will now increase exponentially, to at least 1,000 per day, even as renewals are submitted and processed.

  • DACA recipients still have to apply individually for renewals, which take months to process. Many who applied immediately after the federal court in California issued its injunction in January still have not received their renewals.
  • Those who reach their DACA expiration dates will lose their right to work legally and face the possibility of detention and deportation, even if they have a renewal application pending.
  • Because of the unlawful and arbitrary manner in which President Trump and Attorney General Sessions ended the DACA program in September, March 5 is still a real deadline after which the number of DACA recipients falling out of status will accelerate considerably.
  • These court victories, while welcome, are temporary and could be overturned (suddenly) later this year. Dreamers and their families are still living in limbo every day without Congress passing a law to protect them.
  • Only Congress, with support from the president, can provide permanent protections for Dreamers, which they can and must do to end this ongoing crisis.

Additional Background

The Supreme Court decision not to expedite the Trump Administration’s appeal on the DACA rescission case — issued on Monday — is welcome news. So where does this leave DACA and DACA recipients?

The DACA program remains re-opened — in a limited fashion — due to the Federal District Court ruling. Only certain previous and current DACA recipients can apply for a two-year renewal. Perhaps most important, no new DACA applications will be accepted. More than a million Dreamers who weren’t eligible for DACA remain without any protections. Only individuals previously approved for DACA are eligible to renew.

Moreover, this decision could be reversed at any time, whether judicially or administratively. The Trump administration could attempt to issue a new memo from DHS terminating the program for other reasons. Litigation will continue in the lower courts, which could rule in favor of the Trump administration. If not, the administration almost certainly will appeal again to the Supreme Court at the earliest possible opportunity.

Despite the court rulings, the realities of what happens in the weeks and months after Monday are largely unchanged. For tens of thousands of DACA recipients whose DACA expires in the next few months, it is very likely that most will still lose their work permits and deportation protections. Even though DACA recipients continue to be allowed to apply for renewal, USCIS typically takes 3-4 months to review an application. That means that for individuals whose DACA expires in between now and June, their remains a high probability that many will likely lose work authorization, get fired from their jobs and be at risk for deportation, at least for a period of time. This is tens of thousands of individuals in the next few months. This is tens of thousands of people who will spend the next few months hoping that their new DACA may come before they are fired and potentially deported. This is wrong, cruel, chaotic and completely unnecessary — because Congress could act at any moment to pass permanent legislative protections.

Ultimately, the court decision potentially provides more time for current DACA recipients, but only Congress can provide a permanent legislative solution. There continue to be strong, bipartisan bills in both chambers of Congress that would protect Dreamers and sensibly increase border security. The President should embrace these bipartisan proposals and urge Congress to pass them immediately. Polls show that 80 percent or more of Americans want Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers. That is true regardless of court cases, and it’s true because that is what is best for our entire nation. Dreamers need Members of Congress to do their jobs and work together to get this done.

Social Media Guidance

Lawmakers have failed millions of #Dreamers and their loved ones, friends, community members and employers. We need a permanent solution from Congress. Now. #WeValueDreamers

This is an incredibly painful day for #Dreamers and the Americans who work, attend church and school, and depend on them. #WeValueDreamers

80 percent of Americans, including 59 percent of Republicans, support a solution that allows #Dreamers to stay, keep contributing and eventually earn citizenship. https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2521#WeValueDreamers

Thousands of #DACA recipients every week will lose work authorization as their DACA expires and while their renewals are pending. American businesses and workers will be left in the lurch. #WeValueDreamers

#Dreamers are doing their jobs every day in the face of this urgent crisis. It is time for Congress to step up and do theirs. #WeValueDreamers

President Trump has rejected multiple bipartisan deals that included billions for a border wall. Huge cuts to legal #immigration levels would devastate our economy and are not acceptable. #WeValueDreamers

Adapted by the National Immigration Forum.


 

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