Texas judge to rule on revised DACA program, Arizona Dreamers fear outcome
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Texas judge’s ruling, expected any day now, could change the lives of the nearly 37,000 Arizona DACA recipients. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program grants kids brought into the country illegally by their parents access to things like a driver’s license, social security number and work permit.
For the past several years, Blanca Collazo has depended on DACA for the things many consider small. “I have a social security number and I’m able to support my family in applying for houses. I’m able to provide pay stubs, things that my family couldn’t do,” she said.
On Thursday, the Biden administration asked a U.S. District judge to avoid terminating the program that has provided opportunities to so many. In July 2021, the same judge halted the process for future recipients. This time, his ruling could get rid of DACA over the next two years. “Eleven years of DACA is coming up and we know that there is still a much longer journey that we have for protection,” Collazo said.
Pedro Gonzalez has relied on DACA for years. “To have DACA specifically you have to be an outstanding citizen, you have to be in school, you have to have a job, you can’t have a major criminal background,” he said.
He fears what life will be like if his protected deportation status or work permit gets taken away. “There’s people’s lives that are at stake. Politicizing people’s lives, it’s hard on those people because we are in this in balance of what’s going to happen next. And for years and years it’s been that way,” Gonzalez said.
Arizona Senate Republicans were unable to comment on the hearing because it’s a federal issue. Arizona’s Family also reached out to AZGOP for comment and is waiting for a statement.
According to American Immigration Council, Arizona DACA recipients have made $87.3 million in state and local tax contributions. The organization also reports their spending power is more than $617 million. “We do pay taxes, we have jobs and there are 600,000 across the nation. If those 600,000 stop working, I think that will have an impact,” said Gonzalez.
If the judge rules to end DACA, critics ask that he pause the effects while the appeal plays out or allow the government time to figure out the next steps.
The Arizona Center for Empowerment & Living United for Change will host DACAVERSARY, a special event commemorating the 11th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The event will occur on June 17 at Metro Tech High School, located at 1900 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015, at 10 a.m. Contact César Fierros at Cesarf@luchaaz.org to RSVP.
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