(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) — Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum drastically slashing the Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA), despite the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) 5-4 decision in favor of the program last month. This latest attack on DACA from the Trump administration affects both current and future DACA recipients and halts the program as currently written.
Under the new restrictions, the USCIS will not accept any new DACA recipients, denying pending applications and eliminating the possibility of new applicants in the future. This puts more than 300,000 young immigrants at risk for immediate deportation. Secondly, all DACA renewals are now limited to one year grants instead of the previous two years. Finally, the USCIS will not approve any pending or new advanced parole, hindering current DACA recipients from all international travel.
Alejandra Gonzalez, Voces de la Frontera Youth Organizing Statewide Director, issues the following statement:
“The Trump Administration is doing this country a disservice by not accepting new DACA applications and limiting the renewal period to one year. DACA beneficiaries and those that qualify for the program want to help keep this country’s economy going, and not allowing them is a shame. This definitely highlights the need for legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. They can chip away at DACA as much as they want, but it will only fuel our resolve to keep fighting for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”
Daniel Guitierrez, 21, is a DACA-recipient and may never be able to see his grandfather again because of this ruling:
“I was just informed of this a few hours ago and I was planning to apply for advanced parole to visit my grandfather in Mexico, who has a serious medical condition. Learning about this today was heartbreaking, although not surprising. There are so many examples showing how this administration does not care. I am doing my part to talk to eligible voters I know to tell them they need to go out and vote Trump and his enablers out of office. We need to hold the new administration accountable and continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that will include our parents as well, the 11 million undocumented in our country. We are facing a pandemic, but now is not the time to sit back and keep taking these attacks. We need to get out and show our power, and where we start is the polls.”
As COVID-19 rages out of control, Trump is more interested in attacking the undocumented in this country than protecting public health. An estimated 542,000 essential workers are DACA-eligible immigrants, and nearly 62,000 of them are essential healthcare workers.
DACA recipient Julio Gumeta (26) emphasizes the toll this ruling will take on our frontline workers during a global pandemic. “Your status is really something that weighs on you every day, and to be a frontline worker in a pandemic and worrying about this? It’s too much for people,” he said.
Gumeta likewise stresses the cruelty of this ruling during skyrocketing unemployment: “This means that many people will no longer be able to have work permits,” he said. “Especially now more than ever, it is important to have an income in this pandemic. As a DACA recipient myself, it has already been hard for me to get pandemic assistance, and undocumented people have virtually no form of assistance. We need to make sure that everyone gets out and votes because Trump is going to continue to attack immigrants and other people amidst this crisis. He has made that very clear.”
Voces de la Frontera Action condemns Trump’s decision to greatly restrict DACA. We demand that USCIS immediately renew all 2020 DACA renewals for a period of at least two years. We demand comprehensive and permanent immigration reform for all. And while we are not surprised by this most recent attack on undocumented communities, we also firmly believe in the power to vote this hatred out of office come November. That is why we are building our Voceros por el Voto program for the elections, because our future depends on it and the stakes have never been higher.
If you are a DACA recipient or Dreamer who is unsure how this ruling affects your status and your safety, please call 414-643-1620 to inquire about Voces de la Frontera legal assistance. We know it is terrifying and exhausting to constantly have your status questioned and changed. We are here to support you.
And if you are interested in supporting DACA recipients and Dreamers, we encourage you to join the Voces de la Frontera DACA Action Network by reaching out to Alejandra Gonzalez: [email protected]. Finally, if you would like to be a part of our efforts to mobilize the Latinx vote in Wisconsin, become a Voces member today by clicking on this link or shooting us an email at [email protected]. Adelante, la lucha sigue!
For more information, contact Communications Director Jacquelyn Kovarik: [email protected].
Milwaukee, WI 53204-1734