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Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued their ruling in State of Texas v. United States of America, deeming that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal and effectively putting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants’ futures in jeopardy. 

Ghida Dagher, president of New American Leaders and New American Leaders Action Fund, shared the following comment in response to this decision: 

“Let’s be clear: this case was introduced with the sole intention of furthering a far-right, xenophobic political agenda. With this ruling, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has provided legal cover to politicians using the lives of immigrants as political pawns instead of acting with empathy and the best interests of our country in mind.

“This cruel decision not only puts the futures of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients in limbo; it also harms our economy, prevents thousands of other immigrant youth from filing their DACA applications, and puts families and communities at risk of being torn apart.

“A decade ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was introduced as a lifeline for millions of undocumented immigrant youth. Since then, it has allowed recipients to go to school, start business, establish families, and strengthen our country and democracy. But without immediate legislative action, their futures will continue to be held hostage by the whims of the judicial and political systems. 

“As a community of New Americans, we call on Congress to follow through on their promises and stand with DACA recipients and all immigrants. It is past time for them to take action to cement this program into law and protect all who call this country home. Our communities—and our country—are watching and will keep fighting until Congress rejects this dangerous rhetoric and acknowledges that our home is here.”