What is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy implemented by the Obama administration in 2012. It is one protection for qualifying young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DACA temporarily shielding them from deportation and provides work authorization with possible renewal every two years.
Who is a “Dreamer?”
A Dreamer is an undocumented immigrant who came to the United States as a child. There are as many as 3.6 million Dreamers though only a minority of the total Dreamer population – approximately 653,000 Dreamers – are currently protected under DACA. On average, Dreamers are 7 years old when they arrive in the U.S. and have lived here for more than 20 years.
Why should we protect Dreamers?
Dreamers have been here for many years and make vital contributions to our communities. Over the next 10 years, Dreamers who currently have DACA will contribute an estimated $433.4 billion to the GDP, $60 billion in fiscal impact, and $12.3 billion in taxes to Social Security and Medicare if they can continue to work legally in the U.S. Over 900 DACA recipients with them valuable language and medical skills have enlisted in the military under the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program. Dreamers contribute to our communities as teachers, health care providers, neighbors, co-congregants, and more. Dreamers often have only known the U.S. as home and identify as Americans. DACA protections can be revoked by DHS and DACA recipients continue to lack legal status and a pathway to citizenship.
What needs to change?
We continue to believe that DACA merits a permanent, legislative solution. We urge Congress to act quickly and on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation to create a pathway for those who arrived in the U.S. as children and who meet other necessary and appropriate qualifications to earn permanent legal status and, eventually, citizenship. Polls show such pathway legislation is supported by the majority of evangelical Christians as well as the majority of all Americans.
What can I do?
While the Supreme Court determined that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) could remain for the time being, it is still under threat. We are encouraged that public support for immigration shows far less of a partisan divide than we perceive—a recent Gallup Poll showed that 8 in 10 Americans think immigration is a good thing for our country You can lend your voice in favor of a path toward citizenship for Dreamers by signing on to this Letter to Congress Regarding Dreamers.
What’s the deal with the recent SCOTUS ruling?
On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it was ending DACA, a decision that was subsequently enjoined in the courts. On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration failed to provide a reasoned explanation for ending DACA. Though this decision allows the policy to remain in place temporarily, it also permits the administration to make another attempt to end DACA if it uses proper administrative procedure.
Who supports DACA?
Protections for Dreamers have bipartisan support. In 2019, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) introduced the Dream Act of 2019, a bipartisan effort to provide Dreamers with protection from deportation and an opportunity to obtain legal status in America.