ORLANDO, Fla. — President Joe Biden said the United States Department of Justice will appeal a recent Federal Court ruling before the weekend that ruled the Federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal.
The program, put in place by the Obama administration in 2012, protects “Deamers” who were brought to the United States as children and allows them to stay in the country.
The new ruling leaves hundreds of thousands of students in Central Florida and across the country living in limbo.
University of Central Florida graduate Kevin Ortiz is currently on a full scholarship in the MBA program at UNC Chapel Hill and is a leading voice in the push for Congress to pass 2021′s proposed Dream and Promise Act.
The Dream and Promise Act keeps Ortiz and more than a million students brought to the United States as children from being deported.
“The DACA program has allowed a lot of folks like me to be able to do better than their parents,” Ortiz said. “When you ask the question, ‘Is America is still the land of opportunity?’ one of key examples is programs like this one.”
In December, a federal judge in New York restored the program, only to see it undone by an order last week in Texas.
The move reopens a lane of limbo Ortiz was thrust into for two weeks in May as a backlog stalled his fourth DACA renewal since 2013. Ortiz had to take unpaid leave from work until it went through.
Ortiz is protected for now, but for those in or outside the application process, the latest ruling interferes with their ability to obtain a social security number, work, drive, use a credit card and even pay a phone bill.
“It’s disappointing to hear that DACA continues to be attacked,” Ortiz said. “There are hundreds of thousands of other folks who continue to struggle just like I am. We use our numbers to continue to inspire and make something happen this time around because it’s been way too long.”
A recent survey show that 72% of American voters, including 55% of Republicans, support a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
There is still no word on a timetable of when the Senate will take 2021′s Dream and Promise Act into consideration.
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