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America’s Voice on DACA Ruling: Congress Must Act, Now

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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the DACA ruling by Texas Judge Andrew Hanen: 

DACA is hanging by a thread. 

The lives of young immigrants who are American in all but paperwork are under severe legal threat. It’s only a matter of time before the conservative judiciary ends executive actions such as DACA. Only Congress can enact a permanent solution. 

This is a break-glass moment. Democrats have to enact legislation this year to create pathways to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers and essential workers. Earlier this week, Senate and House Democrats moved to include just such an immigration component in their Build Back Better plan. Now, it is up to them to get it done. 

Millions of lives hang in the balance.

We should be clear who is responsible. 

  • Republicans have blocked immigration reform with pathways to citizenship for the past 15 years. 
  • After President Obama, spurred by the courageous organizing by undocumented youth, stepped up to create DACA, Republicans began a relentless campaign of opposition. 
  • In 2017, President Trump, encouraged by Stephen Miller and then AG Jeff Sessions, ended DACA. He then blocked multiple bipartisan proposals to legislate a permanent solution. Only a series of decisions, including a Supreme Court ruling on procedural grounds, kept the program alive.
  • The DACA litigation ruled on today was brought by Republican state Attorneys General, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, who himself is under indictment and under investigation for corruption. He and his co-conspirators from other states should be shamed for trying to drive out our young people who grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Many now work as healthcare professionals, first responders and teachers.  
  • Republican appointee Judge Andrew Hanen has, once again, shown his hostility to immigrants. Previously, he thwarted relief for millions by ruling against DAPA and the extended DACA program. Now he’s ruled against DACA. 

Democrats, we know you support pathways to citizenship for millions, but it’s not enough to simply support such measures. We need a long overdue breakthrough, a concrete result, a piece of legislation signed into law. 

You have the majority and we plead with you to use every ounce of your power to formally recognize Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers as the Americans they already are. You’ve created the vehicle, now drive it across the finish line. 

It’s up to you. Failure is not an option.

To read the Spanish version of this statement click here.