By UUSC Staff on July 19, 2021
On July 16, 2021, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a long-expected order blocking implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for new applicants. In response, UUSC CEO and President Rev. Mary Katherine Morn released the following statement:
“Friday’s development underlines the urgency of what immigrant leaders—including UUSC’s partners—have been saying all along: executive-branch protections are not enough to safeguard the needs of the young and undocumented. We need a legislative solution. Congress must act now to ensure permanent status and citizenship for immigrants, including people with DACA, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and other forms of short-term protections that anti-immigrant forces are attempting to destroy.
Once again, xenophobic actors across all three branches of government have conspired to throw the lives of immigrants into needless turmoil and inflict suffering on thousands of people. Friday’s ruling will not immediately affect the status of people who already have DACA, but it cruelly blocks new applicants from benefiting from the program’s life-saving protections, and it threatens the future of the program as a whole.
While this ruling is dreadful, it is not unexpected and we support efforts to appeal the decision. Immigrant leaders and DACA holders knew this was coming and have long prepared for this outcome. Right-wing groups have waged an unrelenting legal assault on the DACA program since it was created, and Judge Hanen has signaled his hostility to the program in the past, blocking initiatives that would have extended similar temporary protections to other groups of immigrants.
Time’s up for Congress to protect immigrant communities. There is no excuse for further inaction. Legislators have already teed up a solution for DACA and TPS holders, as well as other immigrants, by including a path to citizenship in the budget reconciliation deal. They must show the political resolve to enact these provisions into law.”
UUSC has created an online action that allows members to contact their senators directly to urge them to include a legislative path to citizenship in the pending budget reconciliation deal.
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Image Credit: Ash Ponders for UUSC