tags: Press Releases

Vanessa Cárdenas and David Leopold Preview the Latest in the Relentless Political and Legal Assault on DACA

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Washington, DC – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is one of the most popular and successful immigration programs in U.S. history. 

Despite that reality, the future of DACA remains in doubt, due to ongoing Republican-led legal challenges that have already taken a toll by barring new applicants into the program. Tomorrow, in the latest legal installment, Texas Judge Andrew Hanen will hear oral arguments of the ongoing Texas v. United States case brought by indicted – and impeached – Texas AG Ken Paxton and other GOP states. See more details and context in this legal timeline from MALDEF available here

As Vanessa Cárdenas and David Leopold detail below, the legal challenges to DACA are best viewed as part of the larger GOP political effort on immigration that favors perpetual chaos and the status quo of our current broken immigration system to serious solutions – no matter the harms to Dreamers and the American economy.

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Hundreds of thousands of Dreamers have benefited from DACA’s protections and built lives, careers, and families in the country they call home. They are our friends, our colleagues, and some of our family members here at America’s Voice and in workplaces and schools across the country. 

Yet, from its announcement almost exactly 11 years ago, DACA has been under attack. DACA recipients and the broader Dreamer population remain in limbo, unable to plan for their future here with confidence given ongoing legal challenges to DACA and legislative obstruction to permanent solutions. Unfortunately, while support for DACA and Dreamers is deep, durable and bipartisan among the American public – including among Republican voters – GOP elected officials are leading the charge against DACA in the courts and blocking a popular legislative breakthrough for Dreamers that’s two decades in the making. This is part of the larger shift of the GOP to stop nearly all immigration into America and to make sure that those already here are unable to obtain permanent or temporary legal status.

Ahead of tomorrow’s hearing on DACA, we thank all of the organizations and leaders who are fighting for DACA’s future, alongside every Dreamer who in their daily lives demonstrates why expanding their opportunities and ultimately delivering a pathway to citizenship for long-settled undocumented immigrants is so important.”

According to David Leopold, America’s Voice legal advisor, past president, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Immigration Group Leader, Ulmer & Berne LLP:

“The anti-immigrant judicial pipeline is again rearing its ugly head, keeping DACA and Dreamers’ futures in limbo despite the overwhelming popularity and success of the program.

The cynical legal strategy on display and affecting DACA and Dreamers is part of the larger GOP playbook on immigration – aiming to challenge and dismantle policies that work and then pointing to the chaos and dysfunction they have helped foment as supposed reasons to oppose a broader legislative solution the nation so desperately needs and American voters support.

It’s the height of cynicism. It is harmful to not just Dreamers and other directly affected immigrant communities, but our broader national and economic interests as well.”