How DACA Has Transformed The Lives Of Dreamers, Their Communities – And Lessens The Doctor Shortage And Boosts Patient Care.
200,000 undocumented Californians can keep legal protections allowing them to work and avoid deportation.
After the Supreme Court’s 5-4 very narrow decision allowing the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program to remain in place, calling the Trump administration’s rescinding of the program “arbitrary and capricious”, it’s been a cause for celebration—if a cautious one— by advocates and the “Dreamers”.
Since the program was announced in 2012 by OBAMA, DACA has been a lifeline for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Their two-year permits allow them to work and defers deportation. And, depending on state law, DACA status can mean access to a slew of other benefits, such as in-state college tuition, drivers’ licenses and health insurance.
Roberto G. Gonzales, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, calls DACA the “most successful immigration policy” since 1986, when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act and, when signed by President Ronald Reagan, legalized the presence of almost 3 million immigrants.
Gonzales, the director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, has witnessed firsthand the life-changing effects of the program. For the past two decades, he has studied the outcomes of undocumented youth, before and after DACA was put in place.
In his 2015 book Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America, he profiles young adults in Los Angeles who, despite their best efforts, couldn’t access most life opportunities because they didn’t have a Social Security number. And since the program’s inception, he has surveyed over 2,600 recipients about how it has affected their lives — overwhelmingly, he says, for the better.
Former President Barack Obama weighed in on the decision on Twitter Thursday morning, writing of DACA recipients: “Today, I’m happy for them, their families, and all of us.”
“We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals,” Obama wrote, noting the program was created eight years ago this week.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also celebrated the ruling, calling it a “victory” and again saying that if elected, he will work “immediately” on legislation that would make the program “permanent.”
“The joy of today’s victory does not erase the difficult road ahead,” Biden said in a statement. “We know that much work remains to be done.”
And California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a coalition of attorneys general in defense of DACA before the Supreme Court last year, told CNN Thursday evening the ruling was “an indictment of the way the Trump administration does business.”
“It said that everyone must follow the rule of law,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett of the ruling. “The White House and the occupant don’t have a right to be above the law.”
How The Supreme Court’s DACA Decision Lessens The Doctor Shortage And Boosts Patient Care:
Hospitals, doctor groups, academic medical centers and medical schools cheered Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court to prevent the Trump administration from proceeding with its plan to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which many healthcare interests said could exacerbate the U.S. doctor shortage and hurt patient care for thousands of Americans.
There are currently nearly 200 medical student and resident Dreamers, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. And tens of thousands of healthcare workers at hospitals, clinics and other facilities treating hundreds of thousands of patients, medical groups said. read more here.
What is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a United States immigration policy that allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit. read more here.
Created by Obama after congressional stalemate:
DACA, established in 2012, is available to any undocumented immigrant who came to the US under the age of 16, who had lived in the US since at least June of 2007, was enrolled in high school or graduated and had not been convicted of certain offenses.
An individual also had to pose no national security or public safety threats. Recipients who met the criteria became eligible for renewable, two-year grants of “deferred action” from removal. They were also eligible for work authorization and Social Security numbers. In return, however, they had to provide the government with certain identifying information.