Talk DACA

Introduction and Extension

In 2017 there were 10.5 million undocumented people living in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center. Of the 10.5 million people, about 800,000` undocumented youth are DACA recipients. DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was issued by President Obama via executive order in 2012. The memorandum allows undocumented people, who meet the requirements and pay $495 for the application, to apply for DACA and receive certain federal protections and benefits. A recipient, under DACA, is lawfully protected from deportation and be eligible for a work permit for two years. After the two years, recipients would have to renew and pay another $495 for the application. Three years after DACA’s introduction, in 2015, President Obama revised DACA to extend the program and allow for more undocumented people to apply. However, these extensions would still require applicants to meet the revised criteria and pay a fee of $495. 

 

(Photo by Juan Escalante on Twitter)

 

Benefits of DACA on DREAMERs

For DACA recipients, the program has for the most part positively impacted their lives. According to a study done by the University of California Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, “DACA recipients have experienced some educational and economic gains.” This study explains how DACA has allowed recipients to receive higher education and enabled them to pay for their education. With DACA, the study found that undocumented people in the program became employed, got better jobs, received health benefits, and more. Significantly, the study found that current legislation also needs to keep with DREAMERs needs with regards to employment and immigration.

 

(Photo By Maria Oswalt on Unsplash)

 

DACA’s Current Status

While DACA continues to be a controversial topic for many people and politicians, in September of 2017, the Attorney General at the time, Jeff Sessions, announced the rescission of DACA. Since then, the Trump Administration has been facing legal action regarding the justification for ending DACA. However earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to decide on whether the termination of DACA was accurately explained by the Trump Administration. As these lawsuits have been ongoing, the House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act in 2019, but the Senate still has to hold a vote on it. The status of DACA recipients has remained in limbo since the repeal, but we continue to wait until the Supreme Court makes a decision on DACA in 2020.