UNICEF USA applauds today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. This ruling is a relief to immigrant youth and families who have been living in limbo since the Administration tried to end DACA in 2017.
However, this is only a temporary solution. We still need Congressional action to permanently protect 650,000 immigrant youth, commonly known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States by their parents, from being deported to countries they have never known.
They are contributors to our economy, academic standouts in our universities and leaders in our churches. They have young children of their own. Some have chosen to put their lives on the line and serve in our armed forces. Many are essential workers and hospital staff that have kept the United States running in the midst of the pandemic – and regardless of their contributions to our society, they are friends and family members that will now be forcibly removed from the United States.
UNICEF believes families belong together. Children should not be separated from their parents or caregivers. Allowing families to be torn apart is not in the United States’ best interest and runs counter to our values.
Passing federal legislation is still the best way to ensure Dreamers can continue to live legally in the United States. The House of Representatives previously passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6). Now, UNICEF USA calls on the Senate to pass the companion Dream Act (S. 874) and the SECURE Act (S. 879) to allow young people who have grown up in the United States and families who have built their lives here to continue to contribute to the country they love, and offer a pathway to citizenship.