WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the DACA program — which has helped almost a million young immigrants prosper over the last eight years — was illegally canceled by the Trump administration.
DACA recipients came forward willingly, starting eight years ago, seeking to participate fully in this society. Even though they are not citizens by birth or law, they practice citizenship every day in their communities. Their story is part of the modern American story.
“I have called the United States my home since I was three years old, when I arrived in Miami, Florida from Santiago, Chile. The U.S. is the only home that I know,” said Adrián Escárate, communications coordinator at Define American, a tennis pro and DACA recipient. “I feel that I am American in every way, except on paper. And I will use my voice to fight for permanent protection for myself, for the thousands of DACA recipients across this country who know that their home is here, for our parents and friends who are undocumented, and for Black Americans who are fighting for justice across America at this moment as well.”
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision confirms that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as implemented in 2012, is allowed to continue, a wake-up call for all Americans that our government can and should deliver permanent protections and justice for undocumented people, including 700,000 DACA recipients in every corner of this country. At a moment when Black Americans are taking a powerful stand in a centuries-long struggle for justice, DACA recipients and their allies recognize that immigrant justice will only be achieved hand in hand with racial justice.
What are you doing and what is our nation doing to fight for DACA recipients and for the 11 million other undocumented people in this country?
The highest court in the land made the correct decision about this administration’s mean-spirited, arbitrary, and capricious attempts to end DACA. But it is on us, the American people, to make the right decisions in our communities, to care for each other, and to demand leadership that unites us.
DACA recipients include:
- Our friends, family and neighbors in all 50 states.
- The parents, children, brothers and sisters of millions of American citizens.
- 29,000 healthcare workers, almost 15,000 teachers, and more than 140,000 food service workers, from food production to waiting tables. 1
- At least 11,000 Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, who are also disproportionately targeted by police and by deportation forces.
The undocumented American journalist and Define American founder Jose Antonio Vargas, who does not qualify for DACA, said: “Resilience. That’s what makes DACA recipients so American. Resilience is what DACA recipients share with anyone who has ever challenged America to live up to its ideals, including generations of African American visionaries. We commit to fighting for an American dream that includes all of us, instead of the one we have that depends on the continued oppression and exploitation of Black and other marginalized peoples.”
Today is another milestone in the long journey toward recognition of all of our humanity. The immigrant experience is a critical part of the American experience and that has never been more true than today. We are in this together. Join the fight.