SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also known as DACA has provided temporary protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the U.S. as children.
That program is in jeopardy yet again as a handful of states target its legality.
A Savannah immigrant rights organization and an attorney say even if DACA survives this latest legal battle, more needs to be done to protect participants.
Multiple states are asking a Texas court judge to end the Deferred Childhood Arrivals Program by arguing that it was illegally created during the Obama Administration.
This comes just weeks after a judge ruled the Trump administration had to accept new applications for the program.
Undocumented students say it’s something that’s not new to them.
“Let’s see what’s going to happen,” said Lead Organizer of Savannah Undocumented Youth Alliance Daniela Rodiguez. “We don’t know. We don’t know the future. DACA recipients don’t know the future and unfortunately, it’s been like that ever since Trump came into office.”
Savannah Undocumented Youth Alliance is made up of undocumented students with and without DACA protections.
They say they’re hopeful this case will go in their favor but want a more permanent solution instead of the program already in place.
”Something that’s more secure because DACA is not,” said Rodriguez. “Like DACA could go away anytime meanwhile something that provides more protection for DACA recipients may be a pathway to citizenship.”
Savannah attorney Patrick Jarrett has been practicing immigration law for 10 years and has represented at least 75 DACA recipients.
He says DACA recipients must renew their status every two years and if this case goes in their favor, it’ll not only be appealed, but recipients could be stuck renewing their status until Congress takes action.
”I don’t think anything changes until Congress does their job and comes together on this issue and decides how to fix it from a legislative process,” said Jarrett. “It doesn’t matter who is President. The issues that surround DACA are always going to be there and so for the people you read stories about, they’re always going to have this uncertainty about the process until more no less the Supreme Court issues ultimately say it’s illegal exercising its executive authority well that happens who knows.”
A ruling hasn’t been issued on this case yet.