In a disappointing but not unexpected ruling, a federal district court rejected the Biden administration’s attempt to protect approximately 600,000 undocumented individuals from deportation. Current beneficiaries of the 11-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can continue to keep and renew their protection, but the judge maintained the block on new applications from going forward. While the administration will likely appeal the decision, the embattled program is expected to continue to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Philanthropy should invest in the multipronged approach immigrant justice movement groups are deploying to support immigrants who have built their lives in the United States. In addition to supporting litigation efforts, it is imperative that funders support organizing and advocacy campaigns to advance a permanent legislative solution for the range of communities that lack a permanent legal status. Groups have been advocating for policies that protect those with DACA, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and people without status who have been present in the United States for at least seven years, such as HR 1511 and S.2606, the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929.
Other strategies funders can deploy at this critical moment include:
- Advancing employment-based immigration remedies and legal screenings for immigrants who may qualify for other existing immigration protections.
- Investing in the DACA Renewal Fund to bolster the ability of current beneficiaries of the program to renew their protection.
- Centering directly-impacted led groups, such as Undocumented in Philanthropy Network, a cohort of current and former undocumented leaders within the philanthropic sector.
- Promoting strategies that bolster the resilience of impacted communities against the constant threats to DACA and other programs.
Finally, philanthropy should leverage its influence by amplifying the movement’s voice via its communications platforms and directly weighing in with lawmakers in support of DACA beneficiaries. A number of immigrant justice groups are holding community calls and briefings about the court decision, including a community call taking place tonight, which we encourage you to join to learn more about the impact of the court’s recent decision on our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.