An Update on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

Here’s an update on DACA from Michelle Warren, Executive Director of the Christian Community Development Association:

Dear Praying friends,

Yesterday was the symbolic end to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).  When DACA was rescinded on September 5th, Congress and the President set a 6-month legislative clock to get permanent legislation in place for Dreamers.  That time has now come and gone.

For Dreamers and those of us who love them, we are deeply grieved.

Many of you have asked what this deadline means for our communities. Below I have shared a few bullets to summarize next steps, where we are, as well as resources for individuals and congregations to use to continue to support Dreamers.

Keep the Faith,

Michelle Warren
Advocacy & Strategic Engagement Director, CCDA
Author, Power of Proximity
www.ccda.org
720-472-0871

michelle@ccda.org

@mcfwarren

 

What DACA recipients can do:

  • Renew their DACA status application now.
  • A court ruling in January put a temporary injunctionin place that allows current DACA recipients to renew their status, providing another 2 years.  Unfortunately numbers from USCIS indicate that not all recipients are renewing.
  • The Center for American Progressfound that since the September decision, “More than 20,000 young people did not renew, thus losing their DACA protections.” Their report went on, “Between January 10, the date of the injunction, and January 31, less than 10 percent of those whose DACA expired between September 5 and March 5 applied for renewal.”
  • On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court, for the time being, declinedto hear the Trump administration’s challenge to a lower court’s ruling that keeps DACA renewals temporarily in place and blocks the government’s full halting of the program. The decision keeps the initial injunction the administration challenged in place as the case plays out in the lower courts. But the program could end at any time, either judicially or administratively, leaving hundreds of thousands of Dreamers with DACA at risk. New DACA applications continue not to be accepted.

Share and Use These Resources:

  • Among a host of responses this week to DACA recipients’ continued uncertainty, Christians throughout the country are participating in a week of prayer for Dreamers, their families, members of Congress and the president. Along with Voices of Christian Dreamers, the Evangelical Immigration Table released a statementand has prepared a prayer guide to help encourage people to pray for a permanent solution that allows Dreamers to continue living and working in the U.S.

Congressional Update:

  • As the fate of Dreamers remains in limbo, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) introduceda bipartisan bill last week that would provide a “three-for-three” approach to protect Dreamers and bolster border security. The bill would provide a three-year extension of DACA protections and $7.6 billion to finance three years of President Trump’s border security policies.
  • After the Senate rejectedfour proposed immigration bills, including two bipartisan proposals, Feb. 15, several Republican senators have suggested that the most likely path forward is the inclusion of a temporary DACA extension in the omnibus spending bill that must pass Congress by March 23

Future Legislative Potentional:

  • We are heading towards another “must-pass” legislation date — March 23, when Congress is expected to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year (sometimes referred to as an “omnibus”). If some version of a legislative solution for Dreamers is included in that bill, it has a very good chance of being approved.
  • After this spending bill passes, it is unlikely that a legislative solution would be taken up until after the November elections and the next Congress is in session in 2019.

Recent Poll on Dreamers:

  • A Feb. 28 CNN poll showedthat 83 percent of Americans believe DACA recipients should be allowed to remain in the U.S., including at least two-thirds of Republicans and 64 percent of voters who approve of President Trump’s job performance.
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