As DACA celebrates 10th anniversary, grantees express frustration over inaction

Supporters of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on November 12, 2019. Created by President Barack Obama through executive action, the DACA program has celebrated its 10th anniversary on June 15, 2022. DACA recipients are commonly referred to as “Dreamers.” (SNC Photo by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

By Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON — Standing outside the United States Capitol, pleading with lawmakers to grant her and her peers a path to citizenship, is not how Zuleyma Barajas imagined her life 10 years after getting a temporary solution to stay in the United States

Barajas believed her future included permanent residency and then citizenship after President Barack Obama announced, through a June 15, 2012 executive order, that he was extending protections to young adults who, like her, had been brought into the country illegally as minors – through the deferred procedure. Action for child arrivals.

The program, commonly known as DACA, gave him a reprieve from deportation, documents to work and drive, and hopes Congress will soon work together to find a permanent solution. Obama announced it as a temporary “palliative” measure.

“I expected us to fight another fight,” Barajas told Catholic News Service June 15 outside the U.S. Capitol, saying she was “definitely frustrated” that absolutely nothing had happened in 10 years.

She said she wanted to ask lawmakers, “What do you need to hear? We have taken the necessary measures.

A politically divided Congress, however, was unable to agree on a comprehensive immigration plan, nor on a bill that would provide some 760,000 DACA recipients a path to citizenship.

Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, who serves as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, said on the anniversary of DACA that in the coming years have passed, “its beneficiaries have become known for their abundant contributions to our society.”

“But after a decade of temporary relief, most DACA recipients still face uncertainty about their future in this country, not to mention their families, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children, d employers and the communities that depend on them,” he said. said in a statement.

“For those faced with this reality, the church remains committed to walking with you and seeing this injustice righted, advancing God’s plan,” he said.

Although DACA “was never a cure for the underlying challenges” recipients faced, Bishop Dorsonville said, “it was a welcome step towards recognizing their inherent dignity and unrealized potential” .

“Only Congress can ensure the full integration of this population. We therefore urge lawmakers to make this moment the long-awaited inflection point that leads to a permanent solution…one of many steps to address an immigration system in desperate need of reform,” said said Bishop Dorsonville.

Via Twitter, President Joe Biden, who served as vice president in the Obama administration, said DACA was “one of our proudest accomplishments.”

“On this 10th anniversary of DACA, we celebrate the transformational impact it has had on hundreds of thousands of young people. It is time for Congress to make this permanent now,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of DACA recipients, Fran Eskin-Royer, executive director of the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, said in a June 15 press release that it was time to “end their nightmares; give them back their dreams.

“Children are our hope; our dreams. And dreams embody the American spirit and opportunity. What does it say if we tear up our children’s dreams? ” she asked.

Most Americans want them to stay in the United States, she said.

In June 2020, a Pew Research Center poll showed that nearly three-quarters of American adults said they support giving permanent legal status to DACA recipients.

Neil Bradley, executive vice president and policy director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that it was “outrageous and unacceptable that after a decade of debate, Republicans and Democrats in Congress no were unable to come together and enact legislation”. To protect them.

Business groups such as the American Business Immigration Coalition have echoed Bradley’s call by demanding that Congress do something.

“Brought here as children, the vast majority of these young men and women know no home other than the United States,” he said. “They were educated here and they contribute to their communities and the companies where they work. Some have even started their own businesses where they employ other Americans. It’s the American dream.


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