LAS VEGAS, NV— On Saturday, October 19, volunteer immigration attorneys, policy experts, and local Dreamers offered a legal clinic for eligible Dreamers who need to renew their DACA status, and answered questions on the latest news regarding the DACA case at the U.S. Supreme Court. Elected officials joined Dreamers in support.
The clinic took place at Rafael Rivera Community Center where 44 DACA applications were renewed.
“I’m grateful for organizations in Nevada and nationwide who are working tirelessly to assist Dreamers through the DACA renewal process–like Dream Big Nevada,” said U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
“Those DACA recipients whose time to renew is coming up need to do so as soon as possible; there is no time to waste,” said Astrid Silva, Executive Director of Dream Big Nevada. “Precisely because we don’t know what will happen, renewing as soon as possible is the best way to protect ourselves.”
Dream Big Nevada Deputy Director Dulce Valencia added, “It was heartening to see this turnout, but we cannot let our guard down. We need to tell our Dreamer friends and relatives that they should not fall out of status and renew as soon as possible. DACA remains in place until the Court rules otherwise.
The DACA renewal clinic in Las Vegas came one week after President Trump tweeted at the Supreme Court to end DACA.
“Trump is holding Dreamers hostage as he demands more money for a senseless border wall and inhumane family separation,” said Assemblyman Howard Watts. “He wants the Supreme Court to do his dirty work as he continues his quest to undo the legal immigration system as we know it.”
BACKGROUND: 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.
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.