On Sunday, President Trump tweeted: "DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military."
The president’s referring to the continued fight and fall-out over a possible Dream Act, but DACA is not dead. In fact, a Federal Court just restored it and this means local immigrant activists in our area are rolling up the sleeves even more this time around.
In the greater-DC area, there's “well over 45,000 people that have TPS.” If you include their kids being impacted by a TPS decision, there's "30,000-40,000 people that are affected."
What about DACA?
“About another 25, 30,000 people,” said George Escobar with the immigrant activist group, CASA de Maryland.
That's how many fans you could find inside Nats Stadium on a good day. That's how many young adults in the DC-area Escobar says are impacted by this most recent DACA ruling.
Last week, a Federal Judge temporarily blocked President Trump's decision to end the program.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will resume accepting renewal requests.
For Escobar and CASA, this means a race to now start processing applications as early as Monday.
"It's a huge impact. It really allows for relief,” said Escobar.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is not a path to citizenship. The program essentially provides a two-year work permit and protection from being deported for “Dreamers.” Dreamers are DACA recipients, the young adults brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The Pew Research Center estimates there are around 800,000 Dreamers in the U.S.
On September 5th, 2017, the Justice Department had announced the end and phase out to this program. They gave certain DACA recipients a month to renew.
"We know that there's a lot of kids that missed that month deadline from September 5th to October 5th that did not renew their applications for fear of repercussions from the administration, etc. So, we know there's at least 36,000 kids that were unable to renew their DACA,” said Escobar. His number was nationwide.
Escobar tells WUSA 9 that, locally, they only saw 200 renewals when he says they were expecting thousands.
The Federal Court order only deals with people who previously had DACA. They are not taking any new applications.
Escobar says CASA has their own litigation in Maryland's 4th Circuit. They're fighting for an injunction that would allow for new DACA applicants and not just renewals.