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Supreme Court upholds DACA

Quaker org says congressional action still needed

Rally outside DACA hearing at Supreme Court
Photo: Carl Roose / AFSC

WASHINGTON, DC (June 18, 2020) Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 5-4 ruling that the Trump administration did not provide adequate justification to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA is a program that has provided temporary deportation relief to almost 800,000 people who came to the U.S. as children. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for immigrant and refugee rights for over a century – applauded the decision.

“This decision is a victory for young people, their families, and our communities,” said Peniel Ibe, Policy Engagement Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee. “During a time of pandemic and a growing movement to end violence from law enforcement against Black and Brown people, we need these protections more than ever. We know that the demands from Black and Brown people in this moment have played a key role in the victory and we stand in solidarity with everyone who worked to make this happen. Unfortunately, the administration still has the authority to rescind the program again. We are calling on the administration to halt any enforcement activities against DACA recipients and cease all attacks on the DACA program.”

Since the DACA program was announced by executive order in 2012, AFSC has been involved in helping people sign up for the program, providing know-your-rights information, protesting and advocating at the Capitol and across the country, and mobilizing constituents to support legislation creating a roadmap to citizenship for all.

DACA recipients are now urging Congress to act – and not just to protect DACA recipients. "As an undocumented student, DACA has been very helpful to me,” said Jesús Palafox, Regional Administrative Associate in AFSC’s Chicago office. "It enabled me to continue my education, get a job with AFSC, and pursue a master’s degree, but I am just one of millions of people living in this country who need to be able to adjust their status. We need solutions that include everyone."

Despite the victory, AFSC and organizations across the country say this movement for immigrant rights and racial justice is far from over. “Our parents and all members of our communities also deserve protections,” said Itzel Hernandez, an immigrant rights organizer with AFSC in Red Bank, New Jersey who is also a DACA recipient. “We all deserve to know that we can feel secure in continuing to build our lives here. Congress must stop funding agencies like ICE and CBP that harm our communities and pass legislation to provide a roadmap to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people living and working in the United States.”  

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.

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