With DACA Hanging in the Balance, Immigrant Families Need Not Be Left Out (OPINION)

CHICAGO — The last few weeks have been a global whirlwind. As COVID-19 has threatened populations around the world, many countries have taken precautions to ensure that people are safe and healthy. In the United States, the policies that are currently being discussed do not go far enough, leaving out vulnerable populations. While the recent stimulus package will provide relief to many families, millions of undocumented families were left out.

Again.

We need economic relief in the form of cash payments and expanded unemployment Insurance, as well as free COVID-19 testing and care for everyone. Most importantly, policies and practices that further endanger immigrant communities, must stop, like the public charge rule and all enforcement practices. For those of us who depend on our daily income to survive, it has been nothing short of stressful. More nerve-wracking still, 700,000 of us in the United States are watching our days of lawful employment tick by. For the last six months, we have anxiously waited to find out the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals decision. On November 12, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in DHS v. Regents, a day that for many of us was yet another test of our fortitude.

As the months have gone by, many of us have scrambled to renew our DACA permits, hoping for a few more months of employment, a reprieve from deportation, and some peace of mind. This is a time of uncertainty for so many due to health concerns and the economic impact that comes with shutting down businesses and requesting that people stay home for weeks and potentially months to contain and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

However, for DACA recipients this is exacerbated, as these may be the last few weeks we are legally permitted to work, drive, attend school, and have health insurance through our employers and academic institutions.

By Fernanda Herrera Spieler for LATINO REBELS
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