There is much uncertainty in the United States today about a host of issues, but one issue that hits close to home for many undocumented youth is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that has been the topic of much debate in recent months. Established by President Obama in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (or DACA for shot) allows undocumented youth who were brought to the country as young children, the opportunity to stay in the United States and work without fear of deportation. Recipients must meet the requirements of the program and must renew their deferred status every two years.
The current White House administration has taken steps towards rescinding the program, amid threats from conservative states Attorneys General, such as Ken Paxton from Texas, that they will begin to take legal action if the administration does not move on this issue.
Should DACA be rescinded, hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth could face expulsion from the only home they’ve ever known. One of the prerequisites of the program is the recipient must have been brought to the United States before the age of 16. For the majority of the recipients, the United States is the place where they grew up, where they have built their lives and gone to school, and most importantly, the place they call home.
During the inaugural years of the program, an overwhelming majority of recipients were either working, enrolled in school or doing both. DACA recipients are contributing positively to society by furthering their education, earning higher wages and paying taxes. Their effect on the economy has been favorable.
While recipients are facing an uncertain future, the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund provides resources to aide the fight in creating a permanent solution for DACA recipients, the DREAM Act. Utilizing settlement proceeds from their suit against Maricopa County after being illegally detained at the hands of then county Sherif Joe Arpaio, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have shown great support for human rights causes and the protection of the First Amendment. The Frontera Fund helps support organizations fighting for DACA recipients such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition and the American Immigration Council.
In the years since DACA was created, undocumented youth who received deferred status have shown that they are Americans, that they love this country as their own, and they will fight to be recognized as legal citizens.