Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Conservative Court Keeps Dreamers in Serious Limbo

On Wednesday, the conservative-leaning fifth circuit court declared DACA illegal, but allowed active DACA recipients to remain in the program.

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People hold up signs as they gather for a rally to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Battery Park on June 15, 2022 in New York City
Photo: Michael M. Santiago (Getty Images)

Hundreds of thousands of dreamers have been waiting with bated breath to see how the fifth circuit was going to rule on yet another challenge to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. And on Wednesday, we finally got a decision.

The conservative-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision declaring the program illegal, but has allowed the program to remain in place for the roughly 640,760 current DACA recipients. The court also handed a review of the Biden administration’s final DACA rule, which sought to protect the program from legal challenges, down to the lower courts.

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Ultimately, the decision was a mixed-bag for DACA recipients who’ve been living in legal limbo as they await court decision after decision about their status in the United States. Cause let’s be real, DACA and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of dreamers in the program have been in legal peril since the program’s inception.

For those who don’t know, DACA protects eligible immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. The program does not provide a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow recipients to get a work permit, a driver’s license, and a social security number.

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President Joe Biden condemned the court’s decision in a statement yesterday.

“I am disappointed in today’s Fifth Circuit decision holding that DACA is unlawful,” wrote Biden. “The court’s stay provides a temporary reprieve for DACA recipients, but one thing remains clear: the lives of Dreamers remain in limbo.”

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Like his Democratic predecessor, former-President Barack Obama, Biden called on Congress to pass legal protections for dreamers.

“It is long past time for Congress to pass permanent protections for dreamers, including a pathway to citizenship,” wrote Biden. 

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On twitter, dreamers echoed Biden’s call for Congress to finally pass protections for children who arrived in the U.S. as children.

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“The reality is that I AM TIRED of having my life depend on a court decision,” wrote Eliana Fernández. “My kids and I deserve stability. We deserve better, period. We need @Potus and Congress to create a pathway to citizenship NOW.”