Immigration Advocates Praise DACA Ruling; Press Biden to Go Further
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
CONCORD, N.H. -- Groups that fight for immigrants' rights are pressing for a path to citizenship in the wake of a new federal court ruling forcing the Trump administration to start taking applications again for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
The program has been in limbo -- tied up in court -- ever since the president tried to end the program three years ago. Eva Castillo, director at the New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, wants the incoming Biden administration to halt all deportations while they unwind many of Trump's anti-immigrant policies.
"And then I would like to see a path to citizenship for the millions of people that are here, undocumented, working and contributing to our society," Castillo said.
DACA has allowed about 800,000 so-called Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as minors, a permit to live and work here. An estimated 300,000 more residents are now eligible to apply.
President Donald Trump has said undocumented immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens and threaten public safety. It is unclear if the feds will appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court.
Castillo said the status quo cannot stand. And she is renewing her call for Congress to make immigration reform a priority.
"I just want to make sure that the administration doesn't just stay in the promise phase," she said. "I want to see some action. Because we have heard the promises before and nothing has happened."
Castillo estimates there are around 400 DACA recipients living in New Hampshire, and she thinks about 400 more now may be willing to come out of the shadows under a friendlier administration and apply for DACA.
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