DACA recipients and applicants in Pennsylvania face uncertainty over protected status

Written by on August 3, 2020

DACA recipients and applicants in Pennsylvania face uncertainty over protected status

By Alanna Elder, WITF

August 3, 2020

FILE – This Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building Washington. The court is setting an election-season review of racial preference in college admissions, agreeing Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 to consider new limits on the contentious issue of affirmative action programs. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Immigrants who are seeking protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are dealing with bad news this week. WITF’s Alanna Elder reports the federal government says it will not accept new DACA applications.

The Department of Homeland Security’s memo also said that for anyone renewing their DACA status, the renewal would only last one year, instead of two. ​

Armando Jimenez, an organizer with the immigrant rights group Make the Road PA, received DACA shortly after it was first implemented in 2012. He’s been talking with other recipients and giving advice where he can, mostly recommending that people consult a lawyer. He says the DACA news is draining, but community organizing helps.

“We see what happens when you speak out with other folks. We’re the ones that drive the narrative. We’re the ones that speak our truth. And I think that’s definitely healing, that – I don’t want Democrats to tell my story, I don’t want Republicans to tell my story. I want to tell my story,” said Jimenez

The news came a month and a half after the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump Administration’s attempt to end DACA. Since then, new applicants and their lawyers say they have received silence or rejections from DHS. 

Lawyers brought the government’s lack of guidance to a federal district judge in Maryland, who ruled the government must fully reinstate the program. 

The agency is arguing that its latest rules are temporary, as the government decides what to do next with DACA. Meanwhile, immigrant advocates continue to call on Congress to enact a permanent solution.

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