August 28, 2020
In 2012, the Obama administration introduced the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which allowed beneficiaries to obtain work permits and temporary protection deportation if membership is renewed every two years. This was passed in response to the failure of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) law in Congress. Those affected by both the DACA program and the DREAM law are commonly referred to as dreamers. In 2017, the Trump administration ordered an end to the DACA program, putting thousands of young adults at risk of deportation and loss of work permits.
Who is eligible for the DACA program?
Not every young person is entitled to the program. To be eligible, a person must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States since June 15, 2007. She should also have been under 30 at the time the policy was initiated in 2012. These individuals must undergo background and biometric checks, have their fingerprints taken and provide evidence that they are living in the US at the prescribed times, as well as their school records .
Recent Supreme Court decision on the DACA program
On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s resignation from the DACA program in 2017 was illegal and earned its recipients a grand victory. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, in the current political climate, dreamers face great uncertainty as the Trump administration may pass yet another executive order to end it. Unless Congress creates laws to provide these individuals with a legal avenue to obtain permanent residency status citizenshipthey will have to live with the uncertainty of withdrawing theirs immigration Status.
Is the DACA program successful?
The DACA program appeared to be very successful, as studies showed that 91 percent of DACA program recipients were employed, received higher education, earned higher wages, and obtained driver’s licenses. This resulted in safer communities and increased tax revenues in the areas where they lived. Despite the success, there is a risk that dreamers will not be considered for employment for fear of deportation. DACA program recipients include frontline workers such as healthcare professionals, nurses, grocery store workers, childcare workers and first responders. Since the Trump administration issued the order to end the DACA program, the number of registrations has decreased.
Why are employers reluctant to offer employment to dreamers?
In the current political climate where a recipient of a DACA program is at risk of deportation, many employers do not want to offer employment. Large employers often ask potential applicants about their eligibility to work in the United States and often do not interview dreamers because they do not want to invest time and money in training workers whose long-term prospects for work in the United States are uncertain are. Additionally, employers do not want to risk hiring them into long-term immigration problems.
Lawsuits against the DACA program
The Mexican-American Legal Protection and Education Fund has filed several lawsuits against companies that rejected applicants for a DACA program. Several companies, including Bank of America and Northwestern Mutual, have resolved such lawsuits. Several lawsuits have now been filed against employers, including Proctor & Gamble and M&T Bank. The lawsuits are based on the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1886, which prohibits discrimination through alienation against an individual for not being a U.S. citizen.
In the lawsuit against Proctor & Gamble, the presiding judge denied a summary judgment, stating that Proctor & Gamble’s policy of not recruiting applicants for the DACA program based on their immigration status was discriminatory and in violation of civil rights. Proctor & Gamble argued that it acted lawfully by basing its recruitment practices on long-term prospects and that applicants to the DACA program did not meet the recruitment criteria. Based on the pending lawsuit, Proctor & Gamble claimed to have revised its recruitment practices, but it remains to be seen whether recipients of DACA programs have actually been recruited.
What is the Immigration and Citizenship Act?
According to the Immigration and Citizenship Act (INA), certain persons who are entitled to work may receive relief from discrimination on the basis of national origin. The classification includes:
- Citizens of the United States
- Permanent residents
- Legal Temporary Residents
However, DACA program recipients do not fit into these categories. However, case law has determined that refusal to employ DACA program recipients constitutes discrimination on the basis of alienation under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and is codified as 42 USC Section 1981.
Many dreamers are stuck in limbo because of the current political environment. Employers value their diversity and bilingual language skills and are not averse to hiring them. However, the Trump administration’s current policy of ending the program has heightened hiring concerns for fear of immigration entanglements and reluctance to waste resources.
These policy changes burden recipients of DACA programs. If someone is concerned about their current immigration status and needs legal advice, seek help from an experienced one Immigration lawyer. Immigration law is extremely complex if not properly applied. It is therefore important to seek legal advice.
Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC help clients maintain their immigrant status
Dreamers face many immigration-related challenges during this time. If you are concerned about your immigration status, please contact one of our agents Philadelphia immigration lawyers at the Surin & Griffin, PC For an initial consultation, fill out our Online form or call us 215-925-4435. Based in Philadelphia, we serve customers across Pennsylvania and across the country.
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