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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Judge Orders End To DACA, Current Enrollees Safe For Now

Speaker 1: 00:00 President Biden says his administration plans to appeal a federal judges ruling that the DACA program is illegal. The deferred action for childhood arrivals program allows young people brought to this country as children to receive protection from deportation and permission to work and attend school in the U S a lawsuit brought by Texas and several other states argued that DACA was an overreach of executive authority by president Obama. The federal judges ruling on Friday allows 600,000 present recipients to remain on DACA, but restricts new applicants and invalidates the program. Joining me is Dulce Garcia, the executive director of border angels, and a recipient of DACA. And they'll say welcome back to the program. Speaker 2: 00:47 Thank you so much for having me, Marie, what does Speaker 1: 00:49 Judge Andrew Hannon's ruling actually do to the DACA program? What Speaker 2: 00:54 This decision means to us, aside from the legal aspect is that we're being told again, that our lives are still in limbo. There's still litigation where the state of Texas and others want to see us deported. They don't want us to miss country. And we're being told once more, what we need is a path to citizenship. Otherwise we're going to be here yet again in the future where we're fighting for our stay here in this country. What it means legally for a lot of people is they're going to have to wait to submit their applications and you're going to have to wait even longer. And Speaker 1: 01:32 What well, not being able to apply and be accepted for DACA. Stop those young people from doing. I remember Speaker 2: 01:39 When I was in high school. And I remember when I was undocumented, trying to figure out the rest of my life, trying to figure out where to go to school and try to figure out whether I could apply for a job. Now, here fast-forward many years later, these young kids are put in the same position where they remain undocumented and have to question what their future is going to be like. Now that the DACA program has been yet again, it's hacked the 60,000 plus applications that are now going to have to be set aside. We're talking about children that are trying to figure out the rest of their lives. Speaker 1: 02:12 And what did the judge say that DACA is illegal? What does it mean? President Obama overreached his executive authority from day Speaker 2: 02:20 One. The prior administration had attacked the backup program and said that Obama should not have started the program in the first place that it needed to have a process where public comment would be submitted. The president always had the authority to exercise discretion in cases, such as ours and say, we're not going to put resources to deporting this population. And so the DACA program has always been lawful. What this judge is saying is that the way that the Obama administration went about creating a program was unlawful Joe in the last lawsuit, uh, that we took to the Supreme court. It became evident that the way that the rescission of the DACA program went about violated the APA, the administrative procedures act. Now with this lawsuit, they're saying the creation of the DACA program violated that same act. Uh, of course, uh, for us, that benefit from DACA. We continue to say that what we need is a path to citizenship. DACA was never the end. All of it. We wanted a path to citizenship and DACA was a way to keep us in the U S while we continue fighting for that path to citizenship. Speaker 1: 03:30 As you say, president Biden is basically saying this same thing that you just said about the fact that Congress should provide a path to citizenship while his administration plans on defending DACA. He says the larger issue, is it a permanent solution for the young dreamers helped by DACA, but is there any legislation in the works that would make that possible? Speaker 2: 03:53 Well, there is a budget of conservation process right now that is being discussed in DC. We are urging and advocates are pushing for pass to citizenship to be included in, in those negotiations. Unfortunately, as DACA recipients, we have been politicized from day one and we saw how we were being used as political bargaining chips. And we're in this position again, where we have to defend our livelihoods in this country and prove once more, that we are good economically for this country, that we have so many contributions to this country. And we want to continue contributing to this country fully by being a part of the society as a us citizen, Speaker 1: 04:33 The U S economy and supporters of DACA are saying that this ruling couldn't have come at a worst time for the U S economy because new DACA recipients could fill jobs in the service industries that are hurting for workers right now. Do you see that as one of the results of this leak, full opinion? Speaker 2: 04:52 Yes. We saw it during the pandemic over 200,000 DACA recipients were on the front lines as essential workers. And more than that, 250,000 DACA recipients have already us citizen children here in the us. And so we're talking about not just the potential removal of those of us who are undocumented in this country, but the removal of so many contributions in our communities, Speaker 1: 05:15 Do you believe the Biden administration will find a permanent solution for the dreamers? Speaker 2: 05:20 The banana ministration has to find a permanent solution for dreamers. It was something that the prior administrations had promised to us. We've been waiting for decades. This is long overdue in the bottom administration has to do its best to negotiate something for us. And it was one of the promises that the current president made to us a lot of time ago. But I understand that there's a long list of things that the administration is working on, but finding a permanent solution for DACA recipients should be at the top of the list, because that was one of the promises made during the campaign. Speaker 1: 05:53 Jean withdrawals say Garcia, executive director of border angels, and a DACA recipient. Don't say, thank you. Thank you again.

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A federal judge in Texas has approved a request by a group of states to end an Obama-era program that shielded young immigrants from deportation.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments