Sep 18, 2023 - News

What the latest DACA ruling means for Arizona Dreamers

Rosa Maria Soto of Glendale demonstrates in 2019 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Another federal court ruling against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has left Arizona Dreamers in a continued state of unease.

Driving the news: A federal judge last week again struck down the program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

  • DACA's protections will remain in place for more than half a million beneficiaries. However, no new applications will be allowed.

Why it matters: Arizona was home to more than 22,000 DACA recipients, the fourth largest Dreamer population in the U.S., per a September 2022 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services report.

  • Another 22,000 people in Arizona are likely eligible for the program but have not applied, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
  • Given the recent court rulings, they may never be able to.

Between the lines: While current recipients are protected, many Dreamers and advocates worry the ongoing legal disputes will continue to chip away at the program.

  • Abril Gallardo, a Dreamer who works for Living United for Change in Arizona, told Arizona's Family her organization is encouraging DACA recipients who need to renew their status to do so as quickly as possible "because you never know what can happen."

What they're saying: "I think some of the people, even myself, I'm like, can we just like have a resolution at this point? We just want to know if it's going to end or not, because I think that the uncertainty is having real implications on people's lives, because then you just can't plan," Dreamer Reyna Montoya, the founder and executive director of Aliento, told The Arizona Republic.

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