For more than ten years, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy has provided protection from deportation and work authorization for undocumented young people who arrived as children and who have grown up in the United States. The DACA policy, launched by the Obama Administration in 2012, has proved to be a tremendous success for nearly one million people and their families and communities to date; it is arguably the most positive immigration policy of this century.
Despite DACA’s overwhelming success, the future of the policy—and the Dreamers protected by it—is facing urgent legal threats.
A federal judge in Texas ruled in 2021 that the DACA policy is unlawful, barring the government from accepting new applications; for now, current DACA holders are still permitted to renew their status every two years as outlined by the original policy. In October, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed with the lower court’s decision finding the DACA policy is unlawful, but permitted renewals to continue while the Texas court reviews the case again. As DACA continues to be litigated in the courts, analysis by FWD.us makes clear the severe damage to the U.S. economy and to millions of U.S. families that would occur if DACA ends, or if DACA renewals are not allowed to continue.1