For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 18, 2020
SUPREME COURT PROTECTS DACA
Today, the Supreme Court announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in place. This is a major win for DACA recipients and families who have faced the ongoing court battles.
“Today on a very special day for our family, we celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary,” Lenka M., Dreamers Mother’s in Action. “We arrived in the USA in March 2000 with my 2 children, ages 5 and 2. Now they are my young Dreamers. Continuing DACA means that they will be able to work and pay for their studies. Today we can sleep peacefully without uncertainty and the shadow of deportation. It means a lot to almost 700,000 dreamers who will be able to get on with their lives. DACA is temporary but we will continue fighting for a legalized pathway to citizenship for all because Home Is Here”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established in 2012 by President Obama under Executive Order. This enabled many undocumented immigrants who had come to the U.S. before age 16 to receive a temporary reprieve from deportation and work permits. This recognized the humanity of thousands of children.
“We are overjoyed of today’s decision by the Supreme Court in protecting DACA,” Mohamed Gula, Executive Director of Emgage. “We will continue to fight until DACA is permanently protected and our Dreamers are considered as a member of our collective family.”
DACA is a promise that immigrants can be given the chance to live and thrive by being protected from deportation without the need for legislation that hurts other immigrants in their community. DACA helped 9,410 people develop deep roots in Virginia. DACA opened up opportunities for higher education, work, stability, and safety for the first time in many people’s lives.
“I am SO happy Supreme Court decided to keep DACA,” Woo, a community member with NAKASEC. It means I can continue working with the people I love and live life without worrying about losing my job and income. This decision was the work of us young people to fight for our rights and we did it.”
The Supreme Court understood the impact ending DACA would have on our society during COVID-19 through a supplemental brief submitted during the pandemic. In Virginia, over 2,700 DACA Recipients are on the front lines working in health care, education, and food-related jobs.
“Today we stand in complete celebration on the decision of the Supreme Court took in favor of DACA,” said Luis Aguilar, Virginia State Director with CASA and DACA recipient. “Our immigrant community and society at large benefit from this decision. We will continue to fight justice for our immigrant communities. This is one more victory we can claim in building a more just society and equitable society. I look forward to the day where immigrant communities and communities of color are treated as equal.”
Without DACA, the US would have had the ability to deport people who have only known Virginia as their home. Many DACA recipients have had children and bought homes in the Commonwealth. Over 2,800 parents with children are DACA recipients in Virginia. Virginia is tied for 13th place for the number of DACA recipients by state.
“Last year we rallied in front of the Supreme Court in the freezing rain to demand they protect DACA,” said Monica Sarmiento, Executive Director of the with Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “Today we are grateful that the Supreme Court recognized the value, talent, and greatness DACA recipients bring to Virginia and America. We honor so many who fought for this victory. Thank you to all who organized and helped make this victory possible.”
Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR), a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations has had a long history of ensuring DACA recipients and their families are protected. Our work has included DACA renewal clinics, sending amicus briefs in support of DACA to the courts, advocacy work with the Virginia Congressional delegation and Attorney General, and rallies in front of the Supreme Court.