BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants are left with the unsettling question of what happens next after a Texas judge ruled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA, as being illegal and blocked new applications.
This comes nearly ten years after the Obama administration signed an executive order protecting undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children.
For most undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, this country is the only place they've ever known as home.
"These are young people- who are part of this country. And we need to protect them and we need to make sure that they get legal status, so they no longer have to live with this fear of being deported to a country that they do not know," Angelita Garcia Alonzo, Parish Social Ministry of Santa Teresa said.
DACA provides some relief, allowing kids brought to this country as children, often known as dreamers, a way to get a workers permit, social security, and driver's license in the state of Texas.
A federal judge ruling this program illegal and blocking applications is now pulling that little bit of relief away.
"The future of hundreds of thousands of young people is on the line,"
Nancy Plankey-Videla, Associate professor of Sociology, Texas A&M said.
Immigration Attorney Laura Leon remains hopeful, reminding clients that this ruling does not mean the fight is over.
"This is not the end. This is just a hiccup along the way. I tell my clients lets still apply because they will accept the application. They'll still accept the initial application. but they just won't look at them," Leon said.
Activists say it's time for Congress to take action to continue to allow dreamers to be productive members of society.
"Please step up to the plate. Senators step to the plate. be there for these young dreamers," Garcia Alonzo said.
"It's time that we give these young people the ability to be full members of society and bring even more of that energy, that gusto for life and for justice to our entire society," Plankey-Videla said.
The Biden administration says it plans to appeal the ruling.
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