DACA at Four: Coalition report highlights success and gives recommendations to enable greater participation CLINIC PRESS RELEASE
SILVER SPRING, MD—The Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation’s (CIRI) Advocacy Working Group released a report today chronicling existing successes of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and making recommendations that would enable greater participation. More than 725,000 people have been able to improve their lives since DACA was implemented, and DACA can still benefit nearly one million more individuals. CLINIC, a founding and steering committee member of CIRI, co-authored the report DACA after United States v. Texas: Recommendations for the President, which focuses on how DACA has helped improve the lives of recipients, their families and communities.
The report comes at a crucial time for the administration in light of the Supreme Court’s failure to issue a definitive ruling in United States v. Texas. The ruling lead to an indefinite delay of the expansion of DACA and a similar initiative for parents. Tremendous misinformation about the status of DACA has followed. This report makes clear that the current DACA initiative, created in 2012, still exists.
“We are happy to be able to issue a report at this time that notes the great success of DACA, one of the most successful humanitarian immigration initiatives to date. We also believe this report presents an opportunity to suggest to the administration ways it can keep that success going by further engaging other eligible populations and removing barriers to access,” said Jill Marie Bussey, CLINIC advocacy attorney and advocacy working group co-chair.
Among the report’s top recommendations:
- Increase access and improve processing efficiency by allowing applicants to present diverse forms of evidence to prove eligibility.
- Make DACA more affordable by expanding access to fee waivers and allowing applicants to use credit cards to pay filing fees.
- Allow more flexibility and discretion in determining which applicants qualify on an individual basis.
- Keep DACA applications confidential and protect sensitive juvenile records.
CLINIC supports a national network of nearly 300 immigration legal services programs. Over 90 percent of CLINIC’s affiliates provide free and low cost representation to tens of thousands of DACA applicants. The feedback from CLINIC’s affiliates formed the basis for recommendations contained in the report. Additionally, some of the DACA success stories in the report were clients of CLINIC affiliates in Austin, Texas, and Madison, Wisconsin.
“The continued success of DACA relies heavily on faith and community-based organizations, like CLINIC’s affiliates. Their recommendations are based upon four years of experience assisting young people and families with DACA. This report honors their work and is forward-looking with an eye to meaningful improvements,” said Bussey.
READ THE FULL REPORT
We are disappointed by the US Supreme Court’s decision yesterday to let stand the ban on President Obama’s executive action that would have shielded as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the United States.
KIAC will continue to serve our immigrant sisters and brothers and will work with the local, state, and national coalitions to bring about change to our unjust and destructive immigration syste.
Our former board member and Friend of KIAC, Mateo Santiago Antonio graduated from Olympic College today. You can learn about Mateo’s journey here.
Congratulations Mateo. Well done.
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