(Milwaukee, WI) – Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case, State of Texas v. United States, that DACA is unlawful, a decision that impacts the lives of millions of people across the country, and the nearly 7,000 active DACA recipients living in Wisconsin as of 2020 (USCIS). Nationally, nearly 203,000 thousand of these DACA recipients are at the frontlines of the COVID pandemic, working as essential healthcare workers.
The case has been sent back to the lower court instead of immediate termination, meaning those with DACA retain their status and can renew it. While we do not know the exact timing of further court action, we do know that the uncertainty caused by the lack of permanent protections leaves millions of DACA recipients vulnerable to right-wing attacks.
In light of the recent DACA ruling, it’s clear: Congress must act immediately to deliver immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, and we need to elect members of Congress who are going to deliver it.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera Action said:
“For the past 10 years, inadequate protections have put thousands of DACA recipients’ lives in limbo, always one court ruling away from losing their temporary status and work permits, and at risk of deportation and family separation.
This recent court decision is a call to action: We need strong participation by Latinxs, immigrants, and allies in the midterm elections to support pro-immigrant candidates to deliver on the DREAM Act and a broader reform for all 11 million. It is just a matter of time before DACA is lost and we witness yet another escalation of attacks on our communities by the far right.
As we prepare for the worst in Texas, we know that DACA recipients remain a powerful political force, by organizing their friends and family who are US citizens, to register and vote on their behalf. In Wisconsin, Latinxs are the largest growing demographic and voting bloc -and in a swing state-we decide who wins and who loses.
Voces de la Frontera Action is mobilizing the Latinx and multiracial youth to vote for this midterm election, to elect Mandela Barnes for the US Senate who will help deliver the votes needed in Congress to provide permanent protections and stability for immigrants and the communities they live in.
The resilience of immigrant youth will prevail again through this election and after the election when we hold Democrats accountable to fulfilling promises long overdue. ”
Fátima Jiménez González, DACA recipient, college student, Voces member said:
“I recently met with Vicepresident Kamala Harris along with other Latinx leaders. I shared about the obstacles that DACA recipients go through to obtain teaching licenses and the teacher shortage we’re facing in Milwaukee Public Schools.
There are many aspiring and active educators in the U.S that benefit from DACA. Without DACA, there will be more teaching vacancies. More vacancies mean a lack of proper education for all students. I’m passionate about continuing to serve students but with the continuing threats on the future of DACA, I could lose that opportunity at any moment.”
Karina Hinojosa Zavala, DACA Recipient, Digital Organizer for Voces de La Frontera Action said:
“ As someone who has been in this country since I was 6 months old, to be deported back to another country would be a traumatic experience for my family and me.
“I’ve canvassed Latinx neighborhoods to motivate people to get out and vote for the upcoming general elections in Wisconsin. During my conversations, I often needed to explain what being a DACAholder meant during election season. People were shocked to learn about how necessary it is for me to have DACA, yet not enough. “If you don’t vote for you, then vote for me.” is the most direct way I could get people to value the privilege and significance of their vote.”