DHS announcement on DACA makes “no moral or practical sense” says CLINIC Board Chair Bishop Soto

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The administration announced on July 28 that it is considering rescinding DACA, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling that the previous attempt violated the law. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and that DACA recipients are well-rooted members of society, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf stated that there may be “important policy reasons” to end DACA.

In response to the DHS announcement, Bishop Soto, Chair of the Board at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, said: “The Department of Homeland Security’s announcement to consider moving forward with ending DACA in the middle of a pandemic is irresponsible and recalcitrant. DHS is returning to the same callous posture, against which the Court has already decided. The actions taken by DHS will aggravate the afflictions of many DACA recipients and aspirants, a significant portion of whom are essential workers. Their labor and sacrifices keep many vital parts of the economy running during the pandemic. The new DHS directives make no moral or practical sense. They will only further cripple the recovery, especially for the vulnerable. DACA recipients are vital to their families and to our country, which has become their home. They are our neighbors. DHS should treat them as such. The administration should not end DACA. It should work with Congress to create a pathway to citizenship. ”

DHS’ memorandum indicated that it will reject all initial DACA applications, including  those filed prior to the date of the memo. It also states that DHS will limit DACA renewals and associated work authorization to one year. The policy, as originally implemented in 2012, provided DACA grants and work authorization in two-year increments. 

“The DHS memo adds even more uncertainty and chaos to the lives of DACA recipients,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC’s executive director. “CLINIC questions whether this announcement — which does not restore DACA to where it was prior to the attempted termination — is even in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling.” 

CLINIC continues to stand with DACA recipients as they lead this movement for justice and family unity. CLINIC calls on Congress to act immediately and create a pathway to citizenship and for the administration to keep DACA in place until there is a legislative solution.