Fate Of DACA Hanging In The Balance In The Courts

Photo/Creative Commons/Pax Ahimsa Gethen

A pending Texas federal court decision could determine the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, potentially pushing the battle to keep it in place up to the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen heard arguments regarding a lawsuit filed against the federal government by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia who are claiming that DACA is unconstitutional. As of this writing, Hanen is still sitting on the ruling.

Paxton is basing his arguments on the same premise that, in 2015, took down an expanded version of DACA known as DAPA, aka Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which would have granted much-needed protections for parents of Dreamers. In fact, it was also Judge Hanen who ruled on the DAPA case.

If Hanen rules against DACA, it will contradict last week’s ruling from a Washington D.C. District Court judge that ordered that the program must be restored in full. This combination of factors could likely lead to the Supreme Court taking up DACA for a possible final judicial showdown.

As stated before, the loss of DACA would not only exacerbate the climate of fear in our immigrant communities, but it would have untold economic impacts, both locally and nationally.

As previously reported by Long Island Wins, Nassau and Suffolk Counties stand to lose close to $387 million in annual gross domestic product if young workers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were removed from the country’s workforce, according to data published by the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and the Center for American Progress (CAP).

In the next 10 years, the country stands to lose $460.3 billion in GDP if DACA is ended without a legislative solution. In New York State alone, there are 115,000 Dream Act-eligible individuals in the workforce who would add a projected $1.75 billion to the state GDP annually over ten years.

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Jano Tantongco is the online editor of Long Island Wins. He's previously worked in community journalism as a staff reporter for The Long Islander and The Queens Courier. He aims to pursue truth through a combination of rational inquiry and intuition. He also enjoys bossa nova, road trips and zen philosophy.

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