Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 5 cover story July 23, 2021 Calling DACA ‘Unlawful,’ Judge Halts Applications mid-2007. They also must have pursued studies or en- listed in the military, and passed a criminal-background check. Those criteria left out thousands of immigrants whom theWhite House has said it hoped to legalize this year. Most DACA recipients are fromMexico, but they hail from all over the world, including South Korea, the Philip- pines, Uganda and New Zealand. They include software engineers, teachers, and doctors and nurses working the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Republican officials fromTexas and several other states had called for an “orderly wind down” of the pro- gram in their lawsuit, arguing that it was unlawful and burdened states with costs for health care, education and law enforcement. But Hanen said he recognized that legions of young immigrants and their communities need the program, and would not wrest it from them as the Biden adminis- tration attempts to correct its deficiencies. “Hundreds of thousands of individual DACA recipi- ents, along with their employers, states, and loved ones, have come to rely on the DACA program,” Hanen, an ap- pointee of President GeorgeW. Bush, a Republican, wrote in the ruling. “Given those interests, it is not equitable for a government program that has engendered such a significant reliance to terminate suddenly. This consid- eration, along with the government’s assertion that it is ready and willing to try to remedy the legal defects of the DACA program indicates that equity will not be served by a complete and immediate cessation of DACA.” Hanen directed the Department of Homeland Security to post a notice within three calendar days saying that “a United States District Court has found the DACA program to be illegal and that, though applicants may continue to submit applications, the Government is prohibited from granting such applications.” He said his order was a “reasonable” decision that took into consideration the competing interests of dreamers and states such as Texas that had argued that the pro- gram granted people work permits who could then get driver’s licenses and compete with Americans for jobs. “Not a surprise, just a painful reminder that we need to stop relying on temporary immigration fixes,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who is the lead Senate sponsor of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, Biden’s blueprint to create a path to citizenship for many undocumented im- migrants. “Congress must seize the moment.” Advocates for immigrants said the ruling would once again upend the lives of people who have lived in the United States for much or most of their lives and consider it their home. “If you can renew, you still have the lingering question of: Until when?” said José Muñoz, spokesman for United We Dream, the nation’s largest immigrant youth-led or- ganization, and himself a DACA recipient. He estimated that tens of thousands of first-time applicants will be shut out of the program, endangering their plans to attend school or apply for driver’s licenses so they can legally drive. “It’s beyond time for Congress to act,” Muñoz said. “We need a path to citizenship.” The Trump administration attempted to terminate DACA starting in 2017, with a wind-down plan that would have ended the program by 2020. Federal courts blocked the effort. In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had not properly considered the impact of rescinding DACA in 2017, and ordered the administration to start again – without weighing in on the legality of the DACA program. Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that is defending DACA in the Texas lawsuit, expressed hope for the program on Friday since the Supreme Court has never declared the program unlawful. But he said the immigrants deserve permanent resi- dency and not the “ongoing cruel roller coaster that our nation has placed DACA recipients on.” -TheWashington Post Biden Calls Judge’s Decision To Halt DACA Program ‘Deeply Disappointing,’ Says DOJ Will Appeal Ruling to use a budget reconciliation measure to take that action, a move that would require only a simple majority vote in the evenly divided Senate. In statements Friday, both Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed to press forward on legislation that would ensure dreamers have a pathway to citizenship. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who has sponsored legislation for the past 20 years to grant dreamers citizenship – with- out success – said Congress had “found excuses to put off this decision” for too many years. “Congress will now act quickly – with or without the party of Donald Trump – to allow these Americans to finally become citizens,” Durbin said Friday. But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) called on Democrats to vote on a proposal he and Sen. ThomTillis, R-N.C., floated earlier this month to Durbin. Cornyn and Tillis said they propose “targeted legislation” that would offer permanent legal status to “active partici- pants” in DACA, and opined that anything broader is not “politically viable.” “Now will Senator Durbin schedule debate and vote on a bill that will provide DACA recipients some certainty?” Cornyn said in a tweet after the ruling. In a virtual news conference Friday night, however, activists blasted such “targeted legislation” from Republicans as misguided efforts to push their own agenda. “In the coming days, we’re going to hear a lot about different politicians on both sides of the aisle who will come out and say to support DACA recipients,” said Bruna Sollod, a UnitedWe Dream spokes- woman and a DACA recipient. “Repub- licans in particular will feign sympathy for hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, whose lives are on the line and again, but they will need billions more for deportation agents and border militariza- tion that will only hurt our communities.” Sollod called Henin’s ruling “a blaring siren” for Biden and Congressional Demo- crats to act immediately. “We must reject empty words and misguided narratives from politicians, and instead demand real action and meaning- ful change that refuses to leave anyone in our communities behind,” Sollod said. -TheWashington Post - Continued From Page 4 - Continued From Page 4 Legal Advocacy Organization Declares Fight For DACA Youth Will Continue In Court D espite the setback in a Texas court ruling on DACA, the fight for path to citizenship for im- migrant youth and undocumented individuals will continue says the Asian American Legal efense and Education Fund, AALDEF. In a statement released July 19, the organization deplored the July 16, 2021 ruling in Texas vs U.S. deci- sion on the challenge led by the State of Texas to the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which found DACA unlawful. Effective immediately, U.S. District Judge Hanen ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reconsider the June 15, 2012 DACA Memorandum and blocked DHS from granting DACA to hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth who had been unable to apply for deferred action and work authorization until last December. Based on Judge Hanen’s order, DHS cannot grant DACA to individuals who are requesting it for the first time. However, those who have previously been granted DACA are unaffected by the order and will be able to continue filing renewal requests with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “DACA was never meant to be a long-term solution for undocumented youth,” AnnieWang, director of AALDEF’s Immigrant Justice Project, said in the press release’ “In light of Judge Hanen’s order and the uncertainty over DACA’s future, AALDEF stands with Asian and all im- migrant communities to demand that Congress and the White House enact legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for young immigrants and others who are undocumented in this country.” President Biden has already affirmed that his adminis- tration would appeal the ruling. The AALDEF which has provided legal representation to undocumented Asian youth, estimates Asian immi- grants make up roughly 10% of the population who are potentially eligible for DACA. For this lawsuit, AALDEF joined other civil rights orga- nizations in an amicus brief that focused on the reliance interests of DACA recipients and the real-life adverse impacts that dismantling DACA would have on immi- grant youth. “While this decision once again puts DACA recipients in danger, this case is bigger than DACA and temporary protections,” RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Im- migrant Stories on the East Coast), is quoted saying in a statement. RAISE is a pan-Asian, undocumented youth- led group affiliated with AALDEF. “We refuse to perpetu- ate ideas of deserving and undeserving immigrants and the criminalization of our communities. Our lives cannot be in constant limbo from court case to court case, which is why we need permanent relief for all 11 million undocumented people now,” RAISE added, calling for Congress to act now and “provide a long-overdue path- way to citizenship that is inclusive of all undocumented people through the budget reconciliation bill as the lives of millions of immigrants hang in the balance.” Individuals who are eligible to renew their deferred action under DACA, but have not yet done so, should consult with immigration attorneys and nonprofit legal service providers if they have questions or need assis- tance submitting their DACA renewals, AALDEF advised. By a StaffWriter Undocumented and DACA-led organization Aliento gather to celebrate their organizers’ role in enfranchising youth and Latinx voters in Phoenix on Nov. 7, 2020. Photo forTheWashington PostbyCaitlin O’Hara