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Fifth Circuit DACA Ruling Means Citizenship is Urgently Needed

Press Release: September 3, 2021

CINCINNATI, OH – Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that agreed with a Texas Federal Judge that the 2012 version of DACA was unlawful, putting the lives of thousands of DACA recipients in jeopardy yet again. However, the appeals panel sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider because the Biden Administration issued a new DACA regulation in August, nullifying the 2012 memo.

Since the creation of the program ten years ago, young immigrants and their families have been subjected to numerous legal and political attacks resulting in real world consequences affecting their lives. Even though this new ruling does not change the program’s current status- which is closed to new applicants but accepting renewals- it’s only a matter of time before the program is ended completely.

Ohio is home to over 7,800 DACA-eligible residents who contribute $22.3 million in federal taxes and $19.7 million in state and local taxes. Kentucky, just across the river, has over 4,200 DACA-eligible young people. 

“I hope the American people don’t forget the empty promises so many politicians made when they were running for office a few years ago. DACA was a front page issue and it’s yet to be addressed through legislation in Congress. With this new ruling, there is renewed urgency for a path to citizenship. Both Senator Portman and Senator Brown have said they support DACA, but our community needs action- and fast,” – Samantha Searls, Program Manager at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC).

“DACA recipients cannot continue to live with uncertainty between court decisions. Action must be taken to have a resolution for DACA that includes a pathway to citizenship. Resolute action is needed as it is right thing to do for both the lives of Ohio and Kentucky residents and the respective economies.  DACA recipients have spending power of more than $137 million in Ohio and $75 million in Kentucky that can be reinvested back into the communities. DACA has helped individuals and families increase their earning potential benefiting families across both states, and a permanent resolution is needed.” – Bryan Wright, Executive Director, Cincinnati Compass.

“DACA increased the number of undocumented children completing high school and put them on a path of upward mobility, flourishing in the employment and attaining stable community lives. It’s time for Congress to act and pass legislation for a pathway to citizenship. It’s time for us to recognize the human, cultural, and economic value of these young people in our collective society,” – Linda Ford, a faith community ally.