According to the Associated Press, after a court decision on July 16 to suspend the program, thousands of new applications for deferred removal of children (DACA) have been suspended.
Astrid Silva, head of Dream Big Nevada, said that as of last week, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services has 90,000 DACA applications pending.
The DACA program was created by an executive order of the former president Barack Obama In 2012, protected immigrant children brought to the United States as minors from deportation. However, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the plan was illegal, and now many people who have recently applied may not be approved.
In Houston, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen agreed to a lawsuit filed by nine states, including Texas. The lawsuit held that DACA should be created Congress‘Power, not Obama’s.
Max Meyers, an attorney at the Mississippi Judicial Center, said: “Rather than treating people as people with basic needs to go to school and find jobs, judges believe that politics is more important to combat this.”
According to the Associated Press, before the ruling, Meyers will submit DACA documents for 40 young immigrants. The program will continue to apply to individuals whose applications have been approved.
For more reports from the Associated Press, please see below.
When the text message popped up on his phone, Samuel Alfaro didn’t want to believe it.
It said that his appointment with the U.S. Immigration Services Department for his application to join the DACA program was cancelled, and that the program had been waited for several months by him.
“I think this is a scam,” the 19-year-old from Houston said of the news he had received on Sunday night hours before his appointment.
Alfaro went to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website and “checked it all the time and refreshed it every few hours.” Later, he received an email confirming that it was true.
Now, he just feels “a little sad”.
Alfaro is not the only one. Thousands of young immigrants in the country without legal status are in the same situation.
The ruling prohibits the government from approving any new applications, such as Alfaro’s application, whose parents brought him and his brother from Mexico to the United States when he was 2 years old. Immigrants and advocates say they will appeal.
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a statement that it “will comply with court orders and continue to implement the components of DACA.”
This is the latest turning point in the plan. Since Obama created the plan, the plan has been overturned and restored in constant court challenges.
Former president Donald Trump It was announced earlier that he would end the program, but the United States Supreme Court The decision last year showed that he did not complete it correctly, bringing it back to life and allowing new applications, such as the one from Alfaro, which he submitted earlier this year.
The latest ruling calling DACA illegal involves a lawsuit that states that Obama has no authority to make the plan and that this is an action taken under the authority of Congress.
Hanan agreed, saying in his ruling that “Congress clearly articulates the laws on deportation, legal residence and work authorization, which demonstrates its clear intention to reserve the power to determine the framework of the country’s immigration system.”
Immigration lawyers said that the court’s ruling has once again raised concerns about the future of the plan and once again put young immigrants at risk.
Meyers is preparing to submit DACA documents for most first-time applicants. But he had to cancel these plans.
“It really just put everyone back into uncertainty,” he said.
According to Silva, supporters were told that as of last week, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services had thousands of new DACA applications pending.
She said the agency received 50,000 applications in the first three months of this year, but only less than 1,000 made a decision.
After the application period following the Supreme Court ruling began in December, Silva said that advocates are patient with delays and understand that the agency may face a backlog of the coronavirus pandemic or other issues. But over time, they began to wonder what might be wrong.
“We started seeing these problems from the beginning,” Silva said. “We understand COVID, mail and UPS, we have an uprising, and it’s Christmas. Honestly, we are very patient. I think many of us feel this is a blessing and we can wait.”
“For us, this frustration has really been there since January,” she said.
Now, the application has stopped. Silva said that advocates are still encouraging eligible people to apply, hoping that their applications will eventually be processed, because things that have to be dealt with by the immigration authorities are better than nothing.
She has been answering mothers’ calls, worrying about what it means for their children.
“These apps are actually just in a box somewhere,” Silva said.
Esperanza Avila, 21, sent her application about a month ago and considers it to be one of the applications that has been put on hold. Although she is counting on the plan to help her find a stable job at Home Depot or serve as a restaurant waiter during her nursing degree in Los Angeles, Avila says she has not lost hope.
“We have gone through all of this. They cancelled DACA and restored it. It was like ups and downs,” she said. “I do think we will get better in the end.”
DACA supporters say that Congress needs to approve legislation that provides permanent protection for young immigrants.The House of Representatives passed a measure that would open up a way to obtain citizenship, but it is in Senate. There is also hope to incorporate certain content into budget legislation Democratic Party I want to pass, but I don’t know if it will happen.
Alfaro would love to see it. He saw the sense of freedom that DACA gave his brother, and he initially applied shortly after Obama applied. When Alfaro is eligible, the Trump administration is in charge, and DACA is out of reach.
When the 19-year-old Alfaro from Houston submitted his application and hundreds of dollars in fees this year, he thought it was the beginning of his life and he didn’t have to look back often because of lack of documents.
“You can get a driver’s license without being afraid of being stopped,” he said.
Alfaro looks forward to building a credit score, finding a decent job, and perhaps moving out on his own.
Except for waiting, he didn’t know what to do now. He tried to find optimism to persevere, just as he saw people’s comments online.
“They said it will definitely come back, it’s just a matter of time,” Alfaro said hopefully.
However, he quietly added, “Waiting is another kind of pressure.”