Following a Decade of Uncertainty, Dreamers' Futures Remain in Limbo
On June 15, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program through executive action. DACA permits certain young, law-abiding people who were brought to the United States as childrenâknown as Dreamersâa renewable, two-year reprieve from deportation while also allowing them to study and work legally in the country.
The DACA program has enabled its more than 800,000 recipients across the U.S. to live, work, and learnâbenefitting all our communities as well as our national, state, and local economies. Texas is home to the second largest population of Dreamers in the country and the Houston region is home to more than 60,000 DACA recipients who contribute $255.4 million in taxes each year and possess nearly $1 billion in spending power. Dreamers are employed across a variety of key industries, including agriculture, food service, health care, sanitation, and transportation.
On this 10th anniversary of DACA, it is important to provide Dreamers a bipartisan, legislative solution for a pathway to citizenship. Dreamers have spent the last decade uncertain of their ability to start a business, purchase a home, or enroll in education services. A permanent solution will support a post-COVID economic rebound and enhance the capabilities of the regionâs workforce.
In March 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which would provide Dreamers and recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) a pathway to citizenship. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing regarding H.R. 6 in June 2021 but no further action on this legislation has been taken.
On this significant anniversary of the creation of the DACA program, it is vital that legislators and leaders work together to craft sensible solutions to ensure Dreamers remain in the U.S. and continue to contribute to our nationâs diversity, culture, and economy. The Partnership supports Congressional action to provide Dreamers with permanent protections from fear of deportation.Â
Learn more about the Dream Act.Â