Supreme Court Decision on DACA

On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2017 was “arbitrary and capricious.” That means the way the Trump administration went about ending DACA was not right because they failed to give enough reasons and explanations for why they ended it.

That Supreme Court victory was a testament to the efforts of the more than 700,000 people in the DACAmented community and their families and friends. Together, with the vision of DACAmented leaders, we created a cultural moment in which DACA can survive these recent attacks on not only it but immigrant people at large. 74 percent of voters in the United States say Dreamers should be able to live and work in the United States.* 

Immigration Mondays: Join us to Pray and Act

Join us on the last Monday of every month at 1 p.m. EDT for prayer and action in support of DACA and the broader immigrant community. RSVP for Immigration Mondays below to receive a zoom meeting link and password!   

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The Trump Administration’s Latest Attempts to Dismantle DACA 

On July 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new memo announcing that will:

  • reject all initial, first-time DACA applications 
  • limit all pending DACA renewal applications for protection from deportation and work permits from two-year renewals to one-year renewals 
  • only grant permits allowing DACA recipients to travel outside the United States in “exceptional circumstances.” 

By refusing to allow initial, first-time DACA applications, and refusing to grant permits for travel outside of the U.S. to current DACA recipients, the Trump administration and the DHS are circumventing the Supreme Court decision on DACA and dismantling the program as we know it. This is the administration’s first step toward ending DACA in its entirety. 

This latest attack on DACA means that hundreds of thousands of current DACA recipients who will renew their applications will only receive one-year protections instead of two-year protections. This not only doubles the cost of applying for DACA but also essentially moves the threat of deportation to the year after the November presidential elections. 

This is also saddening and disheartening news for the more than 300,000 undocumented youth who would have been eligible to apply for DACA for the first time, after the Supreme Court ruling allowed DACA to remain in place as it was first announced in 2012. 

The Trump administration is not only circumventing the Supreme Court decision but also the will of the American people regarding protections and work permits for DACA beneficiaries. As people of faith, we must oppose the dismantling of DACA because it degrades the image of God and will threaten lives and destroy families. 

What Does This Mean for DACA Recipients? 

How to respond as an Ally 

  • Donate to DACAmented neighbors renewing their DACA permit, or hold a special offering at your church for DACAmented neighbors in your community. 
  • Call your senators and ask them to include provisions to extend work permits for DACA and TPS holders in the next COVID-19 relief package. 
  • Call on Congress to pass legislation that provides legal status and a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients without increasing funding for cruel and ineffective detention and deportation practices that harm other undocumented communities. Call Congress at (202) 224-3121. 
  • Vote in November. As you vote, remember that the future of Dreamers is at stake and you can help change that. 

Brief History of the DACA Program 

President Obama first announced DACA as an executive order on June 15, 2012, a little over eight years ago, after continued pressure from young undocumented people and the faith community. Under DACA, almost 700,000 people who migrated to the U.S. as children and met other requirements were able to apply for and receive work permits and protection from deportation. 

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration terminated DACA. Their decision was challenged in the courts. This past November, the Supreme Court heard arguments on DACA and announced their decision on June 18, 2020. 

 

*Pew Research Center: Americans broadly support legal status for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.