21 Jul Ending DACA Would Wreak Havoc in Mississippi and Nationwide
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – On Friday, in an action brought by several Southern states including Mississippi, a federal judge in Texas ruled that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is illegal and immediately blocked the Department of Homeland Security from approving any new applications. The Court, however, declined to immediately vacate the status of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients or to prevent them from re-applying for DACA. Additionally, the judge will allow DHS to physically accept new applications submitted, but prevents DHS from processing the applications.
“This decision is nothing short of abhorrent — and will have particularly devastating effects here in Mississippi. Our state is home to more than 1300 active DACA recipients and many DACA hopefuls, all of whom want to remain with their families in the country they love, work good jobs, and support their communities. Now, with one judge’s decision, all of that is put in jeopardy,” said Vangela M. Wade, president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice. “This news underscores our nation’s deep misunderstandings and biases about immigration. Make no mistake: Immigrants built this country, and have fueled our economy and strengthened communities for centuries.”
“I am deeply concerned for immigrant Mississippians, whose future plans are being thrown into disarray. For example, those who graduate from Mississippi high schools and hope to go to local higher ed institutions could be completely barred from attending — or be forced to pay the high tuition of international students,” said Max Meyers, an immigration attorney at the Mississippi Center for Justice. “We need action from Congress to provide Mississippi’s Dreamers with lasting protection. Until that day, our national and state leaders will continue to use young undocumented Americans as pawns and bargaining chips, rather than as students with dreams for a permanent future.”
The Mississippi Center for Justice is deeply involved with efforts to help immigrants. During the historic August 2019 ICE raids, MCJ represented or coordinated representation for hundreds of immigrants. MCJ also fought for the release of individuals facing deportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And after the Supreme Court reopened the door to DACA protections last year, the Mississippi Center for Justice worked diligently to renew many current and former DACA recipients for a fresh two-year period. MCJ continues to help Mississippians with pending applications and renewals. For help with DACA applications, click here.
The Mississippi Center for Justice is dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of inequity and injustice. Supported and staffed by attorneys and other professionals, the Center pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.