WHAT IT IS
The DACA policy protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. [The Washington Post]
DACA allows those eligible, known as "Dreamers", to get work permits. [Anti-Defamation League]
There are about 800,000 Dreamers protected under DACA. [NPR]
WHY IT MATTERS
CIVICS: All three branches of the government have attempted or are trying to determine if DACA remains.
The executive branch under the Trump administration has attempted to dismantle the program, as they have interpreted it to be unconstitutional. [Reuters]
The judicial branch, led by the Supreme Court, ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration's attempt to dismantle the program was unlawful. They did not offer an interpretation of the constitutionality of the program. [NPR]
The legislative branch, led by Congress, is still working on passing a law that would legally cement the status of Dreamers.
Not their fault
This largely affects younger immigrants who came to the United States as infants or children and had no say in the matter. [The Washington Post]
Fix the system
Some believe the government should be working to correct the broken immigration system, not working to punish Dreamers. [The New York Times]
Against the law
Some believe that amnesty should not be given to those who break the law by coming into the country illegally.
Some believe that allowing DACA is encouraging illegal immigration. [ProCon.org]
DACA allows more working individuals to legally remain in the United States.
Some believe that DACA makes it more competitive for citizens to find jobs. [NPR]
Fix the problem
By removing DACA, responsibility shifts to Congress to create legislation that either protects or removes Dreamers.
Many believe legislation is better than an executive order. [The New York Times]
WHERE WE ARE NOW
2017 - Dec. 8, 2020: No first-time DACA applications were accepted. [National Immigration Law Center]
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are still working to pass legislation to secure the future of Dreamers.
Pope Francis views DACA as pro-life and has publicly urged President Trump to reinstate the executive order. [The Washington Post]
Jun. 18, 2020: Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration cannot immediately proceed with the current plan to end DACA. [The New York Times]
July 27, 2020: The Trump administration is considering ending the program and continuing its existing policy of not accepting new DACA applicants. [Reuters]
Dec. 8, 2020: The Trump administration has fully restored the DACA program, with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) accepting new applications. [Associated Press]
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- A poll from The Washington Post found that 87% of Americans support "a program that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they arrived here as a child, completed high school or military service, and have not been convicted of a serious crime." [NPR]
- See the legal timeline provided by the National Immigration Law Center.
- Here is a list of state and local advocacy groups you can become involved with.
- Listen to an analysis of the lawsuit being heard by the Supreme Court.
- Should immigration law be reformed?