(Milwaukee, June 17, 2024) – As Voces de la Frontera Action organizes a “Trump is Not Welcome in Wisconsin” rally during Trump’s visit to Racine, Wisconsin on Tuesday, June 18th, the organization calls on President Biden to use broad executive action to grant parole in place to Dreamers and long-term undocumented immigrants who are spouses or parents of US citizens. This demand has been growing among immigrant rights organizations, and according to sources, Biden is expected to announce new measures on Tuesday at a planned White House event marking the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Christine Neumann Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action, spoke at a DACA commemoratory event held last Thursday by the organization in Milwaukee. “Trump is a wannabe dictator who is unwelcome in our state. We condemn and protest his platform of hate and violent authoritarianism that promises family separations and mass deportations, criminalization of LGBTQ people and women, and attacks on the freedom of speech, assembly & democracy itself. We must mobilize the Latine and youth vote, as we did in 2020, to ensure that he does not come to power. However, our vote is not gifted to Biden. If Biden wants to win Wisconsin, he must use executive action to grant work permits to include spouses of US citizens and Dreamers and the long-term undocumented parents of U.S. citizens, who have been here for more than 20 years, and have been a major force in organizing a pro-immigrant, pro-worker, pro-democracy vote through Voceros por el Voto in our state.” she stated.

In recent years, the environment surrounding immigration policy has been particularly challenging. With ongoing legal battles, policy changes, and harsh rhetoric, immigrant communities have faced significant uncertainty and adversity. This year’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) anniversary, celebrated by thousands of young immigrants in Wisconsin and across the nation, is shadowed by recent events, including a ruling by the Fifth Circuit that partially ended the program, and Biden’s executive action last week to effectively close the border to asylum seekers, in violation of humanitarian international and national laws.

Where does DACA stand after 12 years?

While DACA recipients, often referred to as Dreamers, can renew their status at present, a significant portion of the approximately 530,000 beneficiaries nationwide have encountered prolonged processing delays, and first-time applications linger unprocessed. As the case revisits Judge Hanen’s court, renowned for its anti-immigrant stance, the future of the program hangs precariously in the balance.

Over the past twelve years, DACA has positively impacted the lives of nearly 6,000 young people in Wisconsin, enabling them to pursue higher education, build careers, start families without fear of separation, and contribute to the state’s economy and local communities. “As we celebrate this anniversary, we recognize the resilience and determination of the Dreamers who continue to make invaluable contributions to our state,” said Luis Velasquez, Relational Voter Program Organizing Director of Voces de la Frontera Action, Wisconsin’s largest statewide Latine and multiracial youth voter engagement network.

A DACA recipient himself, Velasquez added, “Our stories are concrete evidence of the often underestimated power of the immigrant and working community and the importance of programs like DACA that promote opportunities. However, as a movement, we continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. More pragmatically, we ask the Biden administration to use executive power to provide work permits for DACA recipients, those unable to access DACA, and long-term workers and their families.”

The 12th anniversary of DACA serves as a reminder of the benefits immigrants provide to their families, the economy, and society.

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