June 15 marks the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to certain young undocumented immigrants, commonly referred to as “Dreamers.”
While DACA has provided dozens of young people in Maine with opportunities that would otherwise not have been possible over the past decade, they still hang in legal limbo and uncertainty, forced to live life in two-year increments.
When DACA was announced 10 years ago on June 15, then-President Obama called it a “temporary stopgap measure.” However, there is still no permanent protection for DACA recipients, who must file for renewal every two years.
This June 15, many Mainers are planning to speak out on the issue. Let your Congressional representatives and U.S. Senators know what you think. And speak out on social media as well. Gisselle, a resident of Maine, said: “The U.S. means a lot to me. It’s my life. It’s my country. I can’t see myself anywhere else. Citizenship would mean a lot for me, my stability, my family. I want no limits on me.”
Anthony, another Maine DACA recipient said:“I’m just here to do the right thing, to better myself, to feel safe. This is what we know as home. If you send us back, we will be lost. We have been waiting 10 years, now is the time for citizenship. It is time to take a step. You must not continue to push DACA to the side. We need change. Citizenship now. That’s what we ask for.”