Supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program gathered in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday to urge so-called Dreamers to renew their work permits during the next 12 months.
Carrying signs reading “Renew Your DACA Now” and “Fight 4 DACA,” dozens of supporters heard from DACA beneficiaries speaking in front of the Roybal Federal Building. The “Home Is Here” campaign is a coordinated effort to stop President Donald Trump from ending the program that has protected more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children from deportation.
“I stand here today full of hope,” said Melody Klingenfuss, a statewide organizer for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, which Wednesday kicked off a national effort to urge DACA recipients to renew their work permits, and urge Congress to protect immigrant families. “We want to not only live, but thrive in this country.”
According to the campaign’s organizers, DACA recipients collectively pay $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state taxes annually, and are parents to more than 250,000 U.S. citizen children.
Trump first ordered the termination of the President Barack Obama-era program to give deferral from deportation and work permits to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as minors in September 2017, setting off a host of lawsuits.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to end the program on Nov. 12.
“Home is here,” said Angelica Salas, CHIRLA’s executive director. “It’s our home because this is where our lives, our families, our communities are. We urge recipients to renew now. This is as real as it gets for immigrants and their families. This is our home and we’re going to stay.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Tuesday that more than 574,000 Dreamers have renewed their DACA protections since January 2018, when the state won a court order halting the Trump administration’s efforts to rescind the policy.
The data on DACA renewals is published as part of a quarterly report the federal government is required to file pursuant to the preliminary injunction.
“These renewals represent more than just numbers,” Becerra said. “They represent guts, grit, and hope. They mean two more years of protection for hardworking Dreamers seeking to fulfill the promise of the American dream. Their efforts are an integral part of what makes California the world’s fifth largest economy. Although our fight against the Trump administration’s cruel rescission of DACA continues in court, we take heart in the tenacity of the Dreamers who continue undaunted and unafraid.”
With a renewal, DACA recipients receive temporary relief from removal and can apply for permission to work in the United States for another two years.