Thanks to the absolute inability of the United States Congress to act effectively on fair and humane immigration policies, the debate over the DACA program continues long after the policy was created. Former President Donald Trump worked to end the Obama-era policy without success, but the fight is still not over.
Yesterday’s Federal court ruling is deeply disappointing. While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, this decision nonetheless relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future. It is my fervent hope that Congress will act.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 17, 2021
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, set in place by President Obama, is illegal and cannot accept any new applicants. The program allows young immigrants to the country, brought here as children when they were too young to have committed any “crime” of illegal immigration, to remain inside U.S. borders and apply for a work permit. Since the policy was implemented through executive order, the judge said that it constituted federal overreach.
President Joe Biden responded by saying:
‘Yesterday’s Federal court ruling is deeply disappointing. While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, this decision nonetheless relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future.’
For more than nine years, DREAMers have watched courts and politicians debate whether they’ll be allowed to stay in the only country many of them have ever known. It’s long past time for Congress to act and give them the protection and certainty they deserve.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 17, 2021
While the ruling will be appealed, there is only one way that the argument will be settled in any kind of satisfactory way: through congressional action. Should Congress pull themselves together enough to actually work on issues that affect this country, the question of whether immigrants who have committed no crimes, pass stringent background checks, and contribute to society through work and school should remain in the country.
Biden called on Congress to do just that.
‘I have repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and I now renew that call with the greatest urgency,” he said. “It is my fervent hope that through reconciliation or other means, Congress will finally provide security to all Dreamers, who have lived too long in fear.’
Once again, the fate of thousands of Dreamers has been thrown into limbo.
We can't let the future of #DACA recipients hang in the balance.
The time to act is now. This Senate will work to provide a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers.https://t.co/7eKGLA7sFt
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 17, 2021
The issue has been a focal point for the Biden administration. The president issued an executive order on his first day in office to protect the DACA programs. Biden’s executive order stated that:
‘DACA and associated regulations permit eligible individuals who pass a background check to request temporary relief from removal and to apply for temporary work permits. DACA reflects a judgment that these immigrants should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and other considerations, and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves and their families, and to contribute to our economy, while they remain.’
Biden says DOJ will appeal yesterday’s court decision to block new DACA applications pic.twitter.com/y2kvQmu7VO
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) July 17, 2021