SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The future of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is in jeopardy again after a recent court ruling.
One DACA recipient, Karla Palma, said she has called Fort Smith home since she was 4 years old. She is one of a few thousand Arkansans who have established their lives under DACA.
“There are some people who have already started a profession, there are teachers or doctors or nurses, and as soon as that program expires, we’re going to lose a lot of the people that we already have in the workforce,” Palma said.
Palma said it’s hard living in limbo with the future of DACA unknown.
“You don’t know when it’s gonna be over or whenever the new order comes out from whichever court it’s in, if the program is going to terminated, what that’s going to look like,” Palma said.
Attorney Aaron Cash said on Wednesday an appeals court decision upheld a case that found DACA illegal, but sent the court sent it back to a lower court to review a new version of the rule that was issued by the Biden Administration in late August. The new version was subject to public comment as part of the formal rule-making process unlike the original DACA program created by the Obama Administration.
“Potentially they couldn’t strike it down on that ground, but there may be other grounds that haven’t been decided yet,” Cash said.
Mireya Reith with Arkansas United, an immigrant rights advocacy group, said it’s important to come up with a permanent solution to ensure DACA recipients don’t get deported.
“We do believe that Congress has a chance to get us out of this waiting game within the courts, and we’re going to be calling on them to do so in the lame duck come December,” Reith said.
The ruling provides temporary reprieve for DACA recipients but does not allow new people to apply for the program.
Rep. Bruce Westerman issued the following statement in regard to the ruling.
“President Obama created the DACA system illegally in order to circumvent Congress. Democrats’ go-it-alone Executive Order has now put more than 610,000 people in legal limbo. That is unfair to them, the American taxpayer, and the million of individuals who would immigrate legally.”Rep. Bruce Westerman