Judge bans new DACA applications
In 2012, the administration of then-President Barack Obama officially implemented a program called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which has become a primary benefit for the immigrant community known as Dreamers.
Dreamers are young immigrants who were brought to the US without legal documentation as children. Since it was not entirely their decision to enter the country irregularly, some governments, such as the Obama administration, have tried to offer them a path to legalization, especially because most Dreamers have become essential workers in all sorts of sectors and constantly stimulate the national economy.
Through DACA, eligible Dreamers have protection from deportation for two years with the possibility of extension and can also apply for employment authorization. However, this immigration program has faced multiple legal challenges in recent years.
In fact, in the midst of a legal battle, a federal judge in Texas stated on Friday, July 16, 2021 that DACA does not meet the mandatory requirements to be a legitimate immigration benefit and thus ordered the immediate suspension of new DACA applications, leaving thousands of Dreamers in limbo.
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Major tech companies criticize judge’s decision on DACA
The ruling against DACA has drawn the attention of dozens of activist groups, immigrant rights advocates, critics and even President Joe Biden, who issued a statement on July 17, declaring that this verdict is truly “disappointing”.
Adding to that, several major technology companies also raised their voices and commented on the Texas judge’s ruling, including international leaders such as Google, Microsoft and Twitter. These companies state that Dreamers are essential workers and, therefore, it is extremely important to allow them to stay in the country legally.
For instance, Google’s spokesman openly stated, “We have long argued in support of this program, filing an amicus brief in this case, and we are very disappointed by the decision”. At this point it is important to explain that several technology companies across the US have reported a growing shortage of skilled workforce and are calling for the expansion of certain immigration programs in order to attract highly qualified workers from abroad, which would allow them to fill labor gaps and boost the economy in times of crisis.
Other than that, these companies state that, leaving DACA aside, Congress should step in as soon as possible and pass comprehensive immigration reform to permanently protect Dreamers, who, in their vast majority, have lived in the US for as long as they can remember and have always been part of the local social fabric.
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