News For Dreamers

By Jen Mejia

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was introduced by former President Obama in 2012. The program’s goal is to stop deportation for most undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. People who entered the nation as children have been dubbed “Dreamers” in their quest for citizenship.

One needs to have a work permit or a social security number in order to maintain employment in the United States. DACA not only offers these Dreamers the chance to obtain a work permit, but also protects them by preventing deportation. Currently, DACA is the only program in the US that offers these benefits. The requirements include entering the nation before the age of 16, having a spotless record free of felonies, and a few more specific requirements.

Despite Trump’s attempts to dismantle the DACA program during his presidency, the program was repeatedly upheld by the courts. Trump attempted to get rid of DACA one final time in 2020 but still failed. However, a Texas district judge shockingly rejected the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program late last year. The Republican Texas judge, Andrew Hanen, ruled that DACA must stop because Obama illegally exceeded his executive authority in creating the program. With the program in a legal limbo, Dreamers from all around the nation are fighting to keep it in place.

In August, President Joe Biden bolstered DACA provisions by extending the current protections and bolstering the ones already in place, including the work permission. “Dreamers are part of the fabric of this nation.” Biden said in his address. Dreamer’s ties to America are an undeniable social and economic fact given their significant contributions—6.2 billion in federal taxes and 3.3 billion in state taxes, and thousands of local businesses created—to our economy. Dreamers were raised in this nation and see it as their home. In the face of any challenges, Dreamers have vowed to keep fighting for a pathway to citizenship.