Facing the very real possibility of conflicting court orders on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within the next few weeks, immigrant rights advocates are calling on DACA beneficiaries who have status expiring by 2020 to renew their protections as soon as possible. “The risk is that they might stop renewals as soon as mid-August,” said Vanessa Moreno of the Council of Mexican Federations of Mexico (COFEM). “That’s why we’re urging folks to renew right now.”
Late last week, U.S. District Judge John Bates, a George W. Bush appointee, upheld his ruling that the Trump administration failed to properly justify why it moved to terminate DACA last fall, ordering U.S. officials to fully restore the program. But within days, another court in Texas will also hold a hearing on a different lawsuit brought on by Texas’s indicted attorney general, Ken Paxton, and six other states who are seeking to end DACA renewals altogether. The judge overseeing that case, Andrew Hanen, is a well-known anti-immigrant zealot.
“With conflicting court decisions on the horizon,” the Desert Sun reports, “it is unclear how (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) USCIS will handle renewal applications in the future,” though a Supreme Court fight is the administration’s likely goal. Since DACA renewals remain unchanged for the time being, advocates are urging eligible immigrant youth to renew now.
”Two migrant-rights groups, Arizona Center for Empowerment and Living United for Change in Arizona, are among those fundraising to help DACA recipients in the Phoenix area renew their applications,” reports Arizona Republic. “We’re asking folks to stand with dreamers,” LUCHA’s Abril Gallardo said. “This is a good opportunity to support immigrant youth.” In California, COFEM is working with Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) to also help DACA recipients with applications and financial assistance.
Leaders from national group United We Dream (UWD), who were instrumental in the victory of the DACA program in 2012, are promoting a “Renew My DACA” platform, which also offers assistance to immigrant youth. “In the last 10 months,” said immigrant rights leader Greisa Martinez during a press call, “United We Dream has worked with 25 partners in 17 states to deploy more than $1,400,000 to support DACA renewal scholarships for more than 3,000 immigrant youth.”
By Gabe Ortiz for DAILY KOS
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