Washington, DC-Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum enacting significant changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including reducing grants from two years to one-year, outright rejecting new DACA applications, and beginning a process that will likely lead to the rescission of DACA. The DHS’ memo follows last month’s Supreme Court ruling that the administration failed to give an adequate justification for terminating the program as required by federal law. The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, did not compel the Trump administration to file new paperwork. The new filing will likely be challenged again in court. Before the Supreme Court’s decision, a CBS poll showed that 85% of the American people, including 73% Republican voters, favored allowing DACA recipients and undocumented youth to stay in the U.S.
After the DHS issued their memo targeting the DACA program, Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s latest move to rescind DACA via bureaucratic maneuvering proves that nothing—not the Supreme Court ruling against him, the American people’s overwhelming support for DACA, or pure common sense—will deter him from playing politics with peoples’ lives. Rescinding DACA would be a disaster for America’s health, economy, and legacy. If allowed to go forward, Trump’s termination of DACA will rob the country of nearly 30,000 frontline healthcare workers as COVID-19 ravages multiple states. In New York, the epicenter of America’s COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 50,000 New Yorkers and their families will face the threat of the Trump administration ripping them from the only home they’ve ever known. Desperate to shift the nation’s focus away from his abject failure to address the pandemic or America’s racial wounds, this President issues immigration bans, makes administrative rule changes, and, now, targets Dreamers, in a desperate effort to play to his base as his polling numbers decline.
Now, Democratic leadership—Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi—and their Republican counterparts have a chance to rectify Congress’ failure to include America’s immigrants in multiple federal relief packages. They can push for an automatic extension of work permits for Dreamers, to secure their future and protect them from Trump’s racist whims. The Senate must also immediately take up and pass the Dream and Promise Act.”
In the fall of 2017, President Trump terminated the DACA program, multiple federal courts then ruled the administration must continue to accept renewal applications. Over fifty percent of DACA recipients under the age of 25 are on track to receive a bachelor’s degree, and in total, over ninety percent of DACA recipients are employed. In the next 10 years, the country stands to lose $281 billion in GDP if DACA is ended without a legislative solution. In New York alone, Dream Act-eligible individuals in the workforce would add a projected $1.75 billion to the state GDP annually over ten years.