ATLANTA, GA — On Tuesday, November 5, Georgia Dreamers, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) and representatives from the Latin American Association (LAA) and Informed Immigrant hosted a press conference announcing a grant presented to LAA to help with DACA renewal services.
The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments on November 12, 2019, to determine if the Trump administration terminated the DACA program lawfully or not. As a result of the complex litigation in course, there is great confusion in the DACA community on whether it is still possible to renew DACA.
The press conference, which took place at the Latin American Association Atlanta Outreach Center, served as an opportunity to spread the message that DACA renewals are still being accepted, the urgent need to renew DACA protections, and to educate DACA recipients and the Atlanta community on the latest news around three DACA cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Organizations like Informed Immigrant and the Latin American Association – and their counterparts across the country – are crucial in helping DACA recipients and educating them on the importance of renewing their status,” said Congressman Hank Johnson. “I’m thankful for their work and am honored to help them spread this important message.”
In Georgia, there are over 21,000 DACA recipients whose lives would be thrown into chaos if this program ends. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people to pursue higher education, buy homes and start businesses, advance their careers, and better provide for their families in the country they call home.
“Immigrants have a deep connection with the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. I’ve worked to show this through my art and I’m grateful to have had the chance today to remind other DACA recipients to renew their status so they can continue to be a part of the vibrant communities we’ve built across Georgia,” said Yehimi Cambron, a local artist and a DACA recipient.
“With the uncertainty DACA recipients like me face due to the upcoming Supreme Court hearing and ruling, it’s more important than ever to renew,” said Raymond Partolan, a paralegal at Kuck Baxter Immigration, LLC and a DACA recipient. “We do not know how the Court will rule and need to do everything within our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
“Today is a reminder of how much DACA means to our young people, who have grown up here and are an integral part of their local communities. While we wait on the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the fate of the DACA program, we urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that will help provide a lasting solution to the nation’s immigration challenges,” said Aníbal Torres, Executive Director, Latin American Association.
“Today’s press conference perfectly illustrated the mission of Informed Immigrant,” said Samuel Cervantes, a representative of Informed Immigrant. “For years, we have worked to empower undocumented immigrants with information and resources. With the looming threat to DACA, the significance of this mission has only increased.”
For the past seven years, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has been a tremendously successful program that has offered temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work legally to more than 700,000 young immigrants, benefiting Dreamers (undocumented youth who came to this country as children), their families, their communities, and our economy.
On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that the government was terminating the DACA program. In the months following, there were multiple lawsuits filed across the country that challenged the administration’s actions to terminate the program.
For years, the Administration has been crystal clear that they are going to take every action possible to terminate DACA. More recently, President Trump has stated publicly that he wants to use the threat of deporting Dreamers as leverage to enact unpopular cuts and restrictions to legal immigration. The Court’s decision allows those plans to move forward at a breakneck pace. This is wrong, and will hurt not only Dreamers and their families and communities, but will cause serious damage to our economy.
Since its inception in June 2012, DACA has been a huge success, not just for Dreamers, but for our entire country. No federal court has found DACA to be unconstitutional or unlawful, and four courts across the country have rejected the Administration’s effort to terminate this program. However, the Supreme Court will now hear arguments to overrule these lower court opinions, and as early as this spring, DACA could be gone.
Due to the uncertainty of the trajectory of this case, we encourage DACA recipients to stay empowered and renew quickly if they are eligible. We encourage Congress to act swiftly to provide vulnerable populations like Dreamers and TPS holders the permanent protections they deserve to end once and for all the political ping-ponging of their lives by the government.