Saturday, May 25, 2024

DACA Ruling Causes Frustration and Devastation for DREAMers Once Again

After living undocumented in the U.S. for 17 years, Yazmin Bruno- Valdez was accepted in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program less than a month ago, granting her long-awaited protection from deportation and opening potentially new doors for her future. Bruno-Valdez’ sense of security vanished last week when U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen from Texas ruled that DACA was illegal.

He stated that DACA recipients can maintain their status for now and can continue to renew it every two years, but new applications can no longer be accepted. Even though Bruno-Valdez made it into the program before it was ruled illegal, that doesn’t give her much piece of mind.

“What if the (DACA) program ends completely and now they have our exact location. They have our address. They have every bit of information that they can possibly need to deport us on. And what if there is another ruling that just takes away these protections?” she said. Many of the more than 600,000 DACA recipients are also contemplating those same “what-if” situations as they find their lives upended by yet another court ruling.

DREAMers angry about the countless promises by members of Congress from both parties who said they would find a permanent legislative solution for a program that was always intended to be temporary. The shock of the ruling has been heightened by the fact that many DACA recipients felt safe when President Biden was elected.

Trump tried to end  DACA a couple of years ago, but he was blocked by the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court is more conservative after Trump appointed his 3rd justice last year.

Frida Adame, a DACA recipients whose sister is among those who were cut off by the new ruling stated, “For a moment, there was like a sheet of light that shined through the dark times — and it was like, ‘OK, things are really going to get better now.’ But then with this ruling, the light that was going through just dimmed and now it’s dark again… We have absolutely no idea of what will happen next and that’s scary.”