Immigrants in Maryland who were brought to the United States as children and know nothing about their home countries are increasingly concerned over immigration laws and potential changes that can impact them. One such issue is the frequently disputed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Commonly referred to as “dreamers,” the back and forth as to whether they will be allowed to remain in the country legally has left them unsure about their future. A recent federal court decision added to their worry. With complex legal wrangling about immigration, it is imperative for people to be aware of their rights.
Thousands of Maryland dreamers are closely watching court cases
A decision by a Texas federal court judge made DACA illegal. Under DACA, people who came to the U.S. illegally were protected from deportation, could work and go to school. According to the ruling, new applications for the program immediately came to a halt. Still, those who are already in DACA can renew. The Biden administration plans to appeal the decision. The case stemmed from states’ lawsuits claiming that DACA was an attempt by the Obama administration to go around Congress to put the law in place. The argument suggests that DACA negatively impacts state resources.
People who were trying to enroll in DACA stated their disappointment and fear as to what the future might hold. There are around 640,000 people who are taking part in DACA. A significant number have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years. Statistically, an estimated quarter of a million children have a parent who counts on DACA allowing them to stay, work and attend school. Maryland had nearly 7,900 DACA recipients in 2020 with almost 10,000 having taken part in the program since its 2012 inception. Around 5,000 have yet to meet the requirement of graduating high school or getting their GED.
It is important to have professional help with DACA or other immigration issues
Immigration can be complicated. Regardless of a person’s circumstances, there are legal protections that immigrants can use to address their situation. Whether that is trying to get a green card or visa for themselves or family members, trying to work legally, starting a business in the U.S., becoming an investor, avoiding deportation, becoming naturalized and more, it is essential to have professional advice from the outset. There are many layers to immigration programs like DACA and one ruling does not mean that the program is eliminated. Having assistance is crucial to be fully protected under immigration law.