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on the US Supreme Court ruling on DACA

zylphide -

i know the supreme court decision on DACA is likely to be overshadowed by their decision on gay and transgender rights, but i think it's really important to talk about this since it affects me personally.

i've kept my head down and tried not to draw any attention to myself about this, but you know what? fuck it.

for anyone who doesn't know, DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) is an obama-era executive order program that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to america as children to legally work, get social security numbers, and just live without fear of deportation. approximately 650,000 people, including myself, are part of this program. it started in 2012 and trump tried to rescind it in 2017. this caused a whole slew of legal battles, after which it was kicked off to the supreme court.

now i hate that i even have to say this in the first place, but myself and other DACA recepients, as well as those who were ineligible to apply for DACA (you have to pass a strict background check and fit into a very specific set of criteria to be eligible), are american in every aspect except legal. we grew up here, went to school here, said that cult-y pledge of allegiance for however many years we were in school. we are your neighbors, your friends, your classmates, your co-workers. thousands of us are out there on the front lines fighting covid-19 right now. we don't fit into the cultures of wherever we came from, hell, some of us don't even speak the language of our "native" country.

and yet, the president of the united states of america went up there on his podium and told us that we should have our ability to work taken away, that we should be allowed to be deported on the whims of ICE. let me be clear - we had to submit a lot of information to get DACA, including our current residential address and our biometrics. ICE has that information and could get us whenever the fuck they wanted, if DACA got repealed.

now, he might have said that he was rescinding the program so it would force congress to pass more permanent legislation for undocumented immigrants, but there's no guarantee that congress would do that. they'll probably just sit there and do nothing, which is exactly what happened 2012 when obama tried to pass the dream act.

from september 2017 to june 2020, a period of almost three years, me and the 650,000 other DACA recipients were wondering if we would be at risk of losing everything.

thankfully, the justices ruled in our favor (and just barely, at that).

but just because we won this battle doesn't mean that everything is fine and dandy now. the supreme court said that trump was not allowed to rescind the program based on the justifications he gave, however, he is allowed to try again, with better justifications, which is exactly what he's going to do if he gets re-elected. he says he wants immigration reform, but it'll be his kind immigration reform, you know, the kind that places travel bans on people from the middle east? it won't be immigration reform that helps people in my position.

DACA doesn't provide us with a path to citizenship, just says we're allowed to work and not be deported, as long as we don't commit any crimes (not to mention it costs $495 every two years to apply, and you don't get that back if they reject you). people who are ineligible for DACA are still fucked. we're still living in legal limbo, with no status to speak of.

i know most of this site is european, but for the americans out there, we need your support. get involved and get voting, if you can. but most importantly, remember that we are among you. we may lower our heads and hide, try to become so integrated in american society that we are rendered invisible, but we are here.



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