With the recent news of the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Tech:NYC has released a policy brief to help provide context that explains why DACA was implemented in the first place, where we are now, and potential next steps in the process.
DACA was initiated by President Obama through an Executive Order in 2012 in response to the lack of movement on any meaningful immigration reform by Congress for more than a decade. It was meant as a temporary fix, however, Congress stalled on passing bipartisan legislation the last several years to find a more permanent solution as it relates to undocumented immigrants who were brought here as minors by their parents.
After the September 5 announcement by the Trump Administration to rescind the 2012 Executive Order, many business leaders including from tech voiced their opposition to the decision and pledged support for DACA recipients. Several legal and legislative efforts to protect DACA were also initiated, including a lawsuit spearheaded by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which argues that the Trump Administration’s actions violate the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.
The DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for young immigrants who meet certain conditions, was originally introduced in 2001, but has failed to pass Congress for the past 16 years. In recent weeks, however, there have been reports that President Trump made a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to work on a long-term fix. Congress must act by March 5, 2018 to avoid a final end to the program.
As these legislative and legal processes move forward, Tech:NYC will update our policy brief accordingly. We will also keep advocating for a fast and fair solution for the DREAMers who continue to contribute to the cultural, economic, and social fabric of New York and the country. And if you want to make your voice heard on DACA, check out our Tech Takes Action page to see ways you can get involved and help New York’s immigrant communities.