Americans for Immigrant Justice Comment on 2023 DACA Ruling, Calls for Protection for Dreamers

September 21, 2023
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MIAMI, FL — On Wednesday, September 13, a federal judge ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unlawful—stating that only Congress and not the Executive Branch can pass DACA-like legislation. The Biden Administration is expected to appeal the decision. Current DACA recipients are not immediately impacted and may continue to hold and renew their DACA status. However, the program continues to be closed to new applicants, as it has been since 2021.  

Various iterations of the Dream Act—legislation that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who grew up in the United States—have been introduced in Congress since 2001 but have never been passed into law. In February 2023, the bipartisan Dream Act of 2023 was introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  

For decades, Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) has advocated for the passage of Dream Act legislation in support of the 2.3 million immigrants who, despite being raised and educated in the United States, contributing to the U.S. economy and society, and calling this country ‘home’ for the majority of their lives, have no pathway to legal status.  

“Judge Hanen’s decision, while not unexpected, is yet another wake-up call to Congress that the time is now to pass the Dream Act,” said Cindy Woods, National Policy Counsel at Americans for Immigrant Justice. “Dreamers are Americans. The United States is the only home many Dreamers have ever known; they live, work, raise families, and contribute to society and the economy on a massive scale. As Americans, they deserve a pathway to citizenship and the security and benefits that accompany lawful status in the United States.”