Austin-based American Gateways, which provides legal assistance to immigrants in more than 20 Central Texas counties, says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program is a victory for our nation. The Court found Trump’s decision “arbitrary and capricious.” Notably, Chief Justice Roberts recognized that the administration’s decision did nothing to address the hardship to DACA recipients.
Rebecca Lightsey, the group’s executive director stated: “DACA has provided protection for hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families. DREAMers have built their lives here. They are integral to our society and should not be discounted. The Court’s decision recognizes the hardship that not only DREAMers, but our entire nation, would have to endure with an end to the DACA program. We applaud their decision.”
Lightsey went on to add, “this decision is a first step in recognizing that we need a permanent and sustainable solution for DREAMers, their families, and our community. DACA is temporary and while its protections are incredibly important, it cannot be the final solution. Congress needs to act to provide a permanent alternative to allow DREAMers a path to lawful permanent residency and citizenship in the US.”
There are approximately 254,000 children born in the US who have at least one DACA parent. About 56,100 own homes and pay $566.9 million annually in mortgage payments. Other DACA recipients pay $2.3 billion in rent each year, according to the study. The households of DACA recipients pay $5.6 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes, each year. Texas alone has over 109,000 DACA recipients, most of whom arrived to the US when they were under the age of 10. With the current COVID 19 pandemic, over 200,000 DACA recipients are on the front lines working to help protect the health and safety of Americans. They are medical and health care professionals, agricultural workers, and transportation workers, to name a few. They are considered essential and provide critical infrastructure on the frontlines, and without them our country would not be able to function.
American Gateways has hosted workshops to help DREAMers renew their DACA statuses and will continue this work in the wake of the ruling. “We work with DREAMers every day. We open our arms to continue doing so,” Lightsey said.
MORE: Contact Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways, 512-478-0546 ext. 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org
American Gateways champions the rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through immigration legal services, at low or no cost, as well as education and advocacy.