HOUSTON – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston urges DACA recipients – or Dreamers, as they are often known – to waste no time in renewing their DACA status, following the Supreme Court’s action reversing an administrative order issued by President Trump that would eliminate the program.
“Despite the Supreme Court decision, the current political climate creates uncertainty about the ongoing security of the DACA program,” said Terry Cody, legal director of Catholic Charities’ St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance. “We urge all DACA recipients to ensure their status is renewed so they can continue to live and work in our country without threat of deportation.”
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a U.S. immigration policy for eligible persons brought into the country as children to receive a renewable authorization to remain in the U.S. without threat of deportation. Importantly, the policy includes eligibility for a work permit.
The Supreme Court ruling deems the administrative order issued by President Trump in September 2017 to end the DACA program as arbitrary and capricious. The program was created through a 2012 executive order by President Obama. Obama issued the order in the absence of Congressional action on behalf of the Dreamer population.
In the greater Houston area, 80,000 individuals hold DACA status, or more than a tenth of the 700,000 who have DACA authorization nationwide. Of the 700,000-plus DACA recipients, it’s estimated that up to 30% are employed on the front lines as essential workers against COVID-19. As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, these individuals are authorized to continue working to protect public health.
Catholic Charities’ Cabrini Center advises DACA recipients to renew their status and advocate for their own future by asking members of Congress for immigration reform that includes a secure path to citizenship for dreamers.
“Catholic Charities is grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Catholic Charities President Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW. “Our faith compels us to welcome the stranger, rather than deny opportunity to individuals and families who come to the U.S. in search of a better life. Our corps of immigration attorneys will continue to help individuals eligible for DACA status as they seek a path to full participation in our country.”
The St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance provides the most diverse array of immigration legal services in greater Houston. Its experienced corps of attorneys and paralegals provide free and low-cost legal services to children who arrived in the U.S. alone; to families seeking to be reunified with a loved one; to victims of domestic violence; to asylum seekers; and to immigrants seeking to become citizens.
Catholic Charities’ Cabrini Center will work with other Houston area non-profit legal service providers through the Houston Area Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) to provide the most up-to-date information and legal services to Houston area DACA recipients. The HILSC DACA Legal Services Hotline number is 1-833-468-4664.
For further information about services offered by the Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance, visit our webpage, or call 713.874.6750 or 713.595.4100.