DACA ruling gives hope, but no resolution to Dreamers

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Mercury News – By Tatiana Sanchez

Despite a big victory, Iriana Luna’s excruciating wait continues.

A momentous court ruling blocking the Trump Administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program buoyed the spirits of hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants across the country late Tuesday. But yet again, the celebration felt fleeting for Luna and the others who look to Congress and the White House to come up with permanent protections that would keep them in the country they call home.

Pro-immigrant activists and politicians acknowledged that while the San Francisco district court ruling handed “Dreamers” a significant victory, it isn’t enough to keep them in the country permanently.

“It’s a good step forward for the people whose DACA permits have been expiring but there’s still a long way for us to fight,” said Luna, 21, of San Jose who was brought to the U.S. illegally from Mexico as a 1-year-old. Her DACA protection expires in October. “At this very moment, with this kind of momentum, we have to push for a clean Dream Act.”

Luna, who didn’t know she was undocumented until she started making plans for college, said DACA gave her hope at a time when she didn’t know what her future would hold. The protection from deportation introduced by the Obama Administration allowed her to enroll at San Jose City College, work on campus, tutor fellow students in chemistry and English and to become president of the college’s student government.

“It’s time for us to push for a resolution by Congress so we’re not in this continuous state of limbo where we’re protected one day and not protected the next,” Luna said.

In a preliminary injunction handed down Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered the federal government to resume accepting DACA applications as the underlying case continues in federal court. The decision halts the Trump Administration’s Sept. 5 decision to end the program, ramping up a heated debate over the fate of 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants commonly known as Dreamers. The president gave Congress until March 5 to pass new legislation.

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