On September 5, the president announced that he would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since 2012, DACA has provided hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth with opportunities to get an education and a good job without fear of deportation. The president’s announcement suddenly placed the lives of nearly 800,000 workers, students, and homeowners in the United States in limbo. Now, gains that these young immigrants were able to make due to the program are in jeopardy.
Homeownership is one of the many gains DACA recipients have achieved since the program began. In a 2015 survey of more than 1,700 DACA recipients, more than half reported getting their first credit card, and 12 percent had a mortgage or had their name on their family’s lease. DACA opened up opportunities for young immigrants to establish a formal record of work and credit history with a social security number, which they used to help them qualify for a loan to buy their first home. For DACA homeowners, their first home purchase was a dream shared by their families, and an important step towards financial stability and building family wealth.
A potential deal between Democrats and the president over how to fix DACA may have been announced late last night, but that didn’t stop hundreds of Latino activists, community leaders, and advocates from marching and rallying at the White House today to tell the Trump administration that on DACA and a host of other issues, “enough was enough.”
UnidosUS joined the rally, organized by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, to join the call that our community will no longer tolerate the racist rhetoric that has become a defining feature of this young administration.
You too can join the action to show your solidarity with DREAMers. To start, go to unidos.us/heretostay and take our pledge to stand with DREAMers. When you do, you’ll become part of a growing network of advocates who are working to fight back against the forces of hate and bigotry.
By Carlos A. Guevara, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS
For the past five years, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a lawful and incredibly successful program, has transformed the lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented youth who came to the United States as young children. President Trump’s decision to end DACA means that hundreds of thousands of young people are now relying on Congress to come up with a bipartisan solution in order to ensure that they are not thrust back into the shadows.
On July 20, 2017, Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act of 2017. This is the latest iteration of this important piece of legislation, which has historically enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress. UnidosUS is encouraged by this most recent effort to reach across the aisle and once again attempt a meaningful, bipartisan solution for the many DREAMers living in our communities and making significant contributions to our nation.
The news comes at an important time. Last week we wrote about renewed threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy following a meeting between the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the administration’s top immigration enforcer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. The meeting followed a letter sent by 10 attorneys general threatening to present a legal challenge to DACA unless the administration takes steps to unwind the policy on their own accord. The Trump administration has until September 5 to decide on how it will respond.
In response to a new memo released yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the rescission of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía issued the following statement:
“While we applaud the administration’s apparent decision to keep DACA in place, today’s action is far from reassuring. The announcement that DACA would not be repealed was coupled with a decision to formally revoke DAPA, which would have given temporary protected status to an estimated five million parents of U.S. citizens. Further, the Trump administration took pains to note that they have not yet decided on DACA’s long-term future, as if the benefits to our economy, our society and the more than 750,000 young people beginning their adult lives in the only country they have ever known can be debated or denied. Claiming that DACA recipients are safe, while ending protections for parents and issuing executive orders to increase an already draconian enforcement policy does not actually ensure their safety or anyone else’s. This is why NCLR will continue to protect and defend the Latino and immigrant communities in the United States, and continue advocating for commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform.”