Ten years ago, when Susana Lujano and her husband Luis, first heard that they would receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), it felt like a godsend. Under the Obama-era executive order, they, and other young, unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, could access work permits and enjoy protection from deportation.
But as DACA celebrates its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, the Lujanos remain mired in legal uncertainty. And it’s not just them anymore: their 5-month-old baby Joaquín is an American citizen. His future also depends on his parents’ ability to stay in the only country any of them have ever known.
While DACA was intended as a stopgap measure, Congress has failed to create a permanent pathway to citizenship, even as Republicans, arguing that former President Barack Obama did not have the authority to create such protections for young Dreamers, have repeatedly challenged the program in court. The result is that some 611,000 active DACA recipients, a generation long thought of as kids, are adults now, with jobs and homes and children of their own—and they remain in crippling legal limbo.
The average DACA recipient is now nearly 28 years-old and more than 184,400 are over the age of 30, according to December 2021 data by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are now more DACA recipients over the age of 36 than there are under the age of 20. A 2021 survey conducted by the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute, found that 33%—or more than 203,000—of DACA recipients have children of their own; 99% of those children were born in the U.S.
Read more: A Dreamer’s Life
Bruna Sollod, who was 21 when she received DACA, says that when she was …read more
Source:: Time – Politics