A federal court ordered the full restoration of the DACA program in an order filed Friday, December 4. The program, which began in 2012, provides temporary protection from deportation to qualified individuals who arrived in the U.S. as children and allows them to work and attend school. The Department of Homeland Security will now be accepting first-time applications for the program and advanced parole documents, process program renewals, and issue employment authorizations to DACA recipients which are once again valid for two years instead of the one-year period previously imposed by the administration.
The Chamber has issued letters in support of the DACA program. Nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, are a vital part of the U.S. economy and about 40,000 of them call San Diego their home. It is also estimated that one-third of DACA recipients are essential workers helping communities through this pandemic, with around 29,000 serving as healthcare professionals on the front lines. We urge Congress to take up legislation to make this program permanent and prevent future uncertainty for our communities and economy.