NEW YORK (PIX11) — Members of the New York Immigration Coalition, DACA recipients and city officials celebrated the 10th anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Wednesday.
The policy, which was established during former President Barack Obama’s administration, made it possible for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to apply for driver’s licenses, social security and work permits.
Political organization FWD.us released a new report on how DACA impacted New York. Of over 38,000 DACA recipients, also called “Dreamers,” 81% are in the labor force, 92% have a high school diploma, 51% have some college education, 20% are married and 20% have children.
Despite these, there is still no path to citizenship or legal permanent residence for DACA recipients. After a Texas federal judge ruled it unlawful last July, 80,000 first-time DACA applications have been blocked from being processed, according to officials.
“It’s unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients remain at the mercy of the courts without any pathway to permanency,” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition, in a statement. “America is the only home that many of them have ever really known, yet they unfairly remain in a state of uncertainty threatening their stability, their families and their futures.”
As advocates and city officials gathered for DACA’s milestone at Battery Park in Manhattan, they also demanded action from Congress to preserve DACA and push for a pathway to citizenship.