It has been over a decade since President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and as the program reaches its 11th year, DACA recipients are grappling with an uncertain future.
DACA Recipients Face Anxious Future
DACA, designed to protect young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, has provided relief from the fear of deportation and granted opportunities to study, work, and drive legally in America.
However, the original DACA recipients, now in their late 20s and 30s, find themselves having to renew their status every two years for more than a decade, ABC Action News reported.
One of the DACA recipients Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, 37, expressed her surprise at the prolonged renewal process, saying, “None of us expected to have to renew our status every two years for over a decade.”
Macedo do Nascimento moved to the U.S. from Brazil with her family at the age of 14 and obtained DACA in 2013. She emphasizes that DACA has been a life-changing opportunity, enabling her to pursue a career she is passionate about.
Katia Rubio Leal, a 21-year-old DACA recipient, expresses her concerns about the potential end of the program just as she is about to complete her college education.
Rubio Leal, brought to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of two, obtained DACA at 15, shortly before the Trump administration attempted to terminate the program. While she dreams of pursuing a career in designing prosthetic limbs, the fate of her aspirations remains uncertain.
Future of DACA Recipients
For many of the approximately 600,000 DACA recipients, the program has served as a foundation for their pursuit of the middle class.
They have become homeowners and parents of U.S. citizens. However, their future in the country remains uncertain due to ongoing congressional inaction.
In 2021, a federal judge sided with nine Republican-led states that argued the program was illegal.
Although the Biden administration attempted to strengthen and revise the policy, the case was sent back to the same judge, who is expected to deliver a similar decision.
The future of DACA recipients is entangled in the legal battles surrounding the program, leaving their lives and ambitions hanging in the balance.
As DACA recipients continue to navigate an uncertain path, the hope for a permanent solution that secures their place in the only country they have called home remains paramount.