Thursday, December 2, 2021

DACA Recipients, Families, and Advocates Push for Permanent Immigration Status

Both, local and national immigrant rights groups made a promise to mark the 9th anniversary of the   Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program benefiting thousands of immigrants who arrived in the country as children. These young people who benefit from the program might not celebrate DACA’s 10th year anniversary.

Adonais Arevalo, Director of Poder Latinx, a group that advocates for immigration, climate, and economic reform stated, “I don’t want to be here celebrating 10 years. We are going to be here celebrating that we achieved something permanent.”

Poder Latinx, along with other organizations such as the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Corazon, Mi Familia Vota, AZ Jews of Justice, United Farm Workers, and Poder in Action gathered to remember the nearly two decades that advocates have pushed for meaningful immigration reform and to mobilize support for two congressional proposals.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would reform the current agricultural guestworker program and create a path to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers. The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 would provide a route to naturalized citizenship for more than 700,000 DACA recipients.

The bill also includes access to legally protected statuses for millions of more immigrants, including those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). According to the Migration Policy Institute, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 could benefit up to 4.4 million people.

Both proposals have passed the U.S. House of Representatives, where Democrats have a solid majority of seats. However, their fate in the Senate in unclear, Democrats hold a majority in the chamber but must win 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster.

In a gathering earlier this week, Jose Andonaegui, state director of Poder Latinx and a DACA recipient stated, “We are going to be able to not only stay in this country and vote but let the people in here and in DC know the power that we hold and that we are no longer scared of them. We are here and we are going to stay here.”

Arizona Mirror