Latest DACA Hearing a Reminder that Congress Must Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in Texas will hold a hearing today on the ongoing litigation challenging the legality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), leaving hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients uncertain of their future and further underscoring the need for a permanent legislative solution.

Unlike the Supreme Court ruling upholding DACA this summer, which focused on the Trump administration’s authority to rescind the program, this litigation centers on the authority of the Obama administration to initiate DACA in the first place. The lawsuit was filed by the Texas Attorney General and nine other states in 2018 seeking to halt the program.

If the court rules in Texas’ favor, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, who were brought to the U.S. as children, could lose their work authorization and protection from deportation. DACA recipients are estimated to contribute $433 billion to the GDP, $60 billion in fiscal impact, and $12.3 billion in taxes to Social Security and Medicare over the next 1o years, and are making countless contributions to communities across the U.S. Currently, individuals eligible for DACA under the original 2012 requirements can submit new and renewal applications that would provide them with temporary protection from deportation and work authorization for two years.

“This case has major implications for the future of DACA recipients, their families, their employers and their entire communities,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “But amid this continued uncertainty, one thing remains clear: The majority of Americans recognize the indispensable contributions of Dreamers and support legislative solutions that allow them to continue living and working in the country they call home.

“This latest chapter in the DACA litigation saga is a clear reminder that we are past due for a permanent solution from Congress that reflects the bipartisan support for Dreamers across our country.”

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