Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

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July 30, 2020

This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced severe restrictions on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This relentless pursuit against young people who were brought to the United States as children is not only morally reprehensible, but is also a blatant attempt to circumvent a federal court order compelling the full restoration of DACA as a result of the Supreme Court decision.

DHS announced that it will:

  • Reject all initial requests for DACA and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents;
  • Reject new and pending requests for advanced parole (aka permission to travel outside of the U.S.) absent exceptional circumstances; and,
  • Limit the period of renewed deferred action granted pursuant to the DACA policy to one year, rather than the policy’s original two year period.

DACA recipients have followed all of the government’s regulations to obtain a deferment from federal action. Most of them know only the United States as home. They have gone to school, obtained credentials and degrees, and now hold jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to their communities. Many DACA recipients are the very people who are now on the frontlines responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare, transit and food workers If DACA is ended, employers will lose experienced and critical workers, governments at all levels will lose tax revenue, and communities across the country will lose good neighbors. Worse, the children of DACA recipients—many of whom are United States citizens—will lose their parents. This is not the America that has inspired hope and admiration from people throughout the world.

Neighbors Link is monitoring all developments pertaining to DACA and will issue further statements as new information becomes available. Renewal applications are still being accepted. If you are interested in renewing please call us at 914-666-3410.


**** BREAKING NEWS: June 18, 2020 ****

VICTORY! Today the Supreme Court did the right thing by refusing to allow this administration to put the lives of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients at risk of deportation in the midst of a global pandemic. Let us remember, many DACA recipients are the very people who are now on the frontlines responding to the pandemic as healthcare, transit and food workers – allowing many of us to shelter in place so that lives can be saved and the economy can keep running. We owe them a debt of gratitude. We applaud the justices for supporting these young people who are American in every way except on paper.

Make no mistake, we still have a lot of work to do. We need to find the collective and political will to create an immigration policy that is humane and just. Neighbors Link stands ready.

Would you like to learn more about the DACA Supreme Court decision, eligibility for DACA and next steps? Watch our webinar!

¿Desea obtener mas informacion sobre la decisión del Tribunal Suprema de #DACA, la eligibilidad para DACA y los proximos pasos? ¡Mira nuestra seminario web!


Previous Information from Neighbors Link about DACA

The DACA program was created in 2012 and allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children a temporary reprieve from deportation, legal authorization to work and the ability to obtain a driver's license.

In September 2017, the current administration announced that DACA will be repealed and some of the 800,000 DACA recipients would begin to lose legal status and work authorization as early as March 2018. Several Federal judges have stepped in to protect DACA recipients. These rulings require the Department of Homeland Security to continue processing DACA renewal applications. However, it does not allow people who never previously filed for DACA to submit first time applications.

While we are pleased to see that the Court has decided to apply the law in order to protect the safety and stability of DACA recipients, the only permanent solution is for Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.

Myths and Realities about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Myth 1: The DACA program hurts the economy

REALITY: Research shows that DACA has been beneficial to the U.S. economy and repealing it would cause economic harm. The Cato Institute estimates that repealing DACA would result in a $280 billion economic decline over the next decade, largely due to the loss of tax income that would have been contributed by DACA recipients during that time. Additionally, repealing DACA would cost employers $6 billion in turnover costs (to hire and train new employees to the same level of productivity).

Myth 2: DACA recipients take jobs from American citizens

REALITY: There is no evidence that DACA recipients take jobs from U.S. citizens. Contrary to popular perception, there is not a fixed amount of work available. Often, an increase in the number of workers actually boosts the economy and increases the number of jobs available. Currently, there is a shortage of skilled workers for many jobs in the U.S. and DACA recipients, who tend to have higher levels of education, are filling many of these gaps in our labor market.

Myth 3: The DACA program provides a pathway to citizenship

REALITY: The DACA program allows for a temporary reprieve from deportation, temporary legal status, work authorization, and the ability to obtain a driver's license. DACA recipients must renew every two years and the program does not provide a pathway to citizenship.

Myth 4: DACA recipients are eligible for benefits

REALITY: DACA recipients are not eligible for federal welfare benefits, insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, or other federal benefits. DACA recipients are eligible for emergency Medicaid services and some states have opted to provide additional benefits.

Myth 5: DACA recipients do not pay taxes

REALITY: DACA recipients pay personal income, property and sales taxes. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that DACA recipients and those immediately eligible for DACA contribute $2 billion a year in state and local taxes.

Sources:

The Cato Institute, Barron's, The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, NPR

Media regarding DACA and Neighbors Link

DACA’s end sparks fear, uncertainty for some in Westchester, Westchester Business Journal, September 14, 2017

Richard French Live, "Dreamers" Share Concerns about the Future of DACA (including Neighbors Link staff member Andrea Alarcon)

Richard French Live, Neighbors Link Community Law Practice Director Karin Anderson discusses DACA