Prof. Manuel Pastor on the Supreme Court DACA ruling
Updated: June 18, 2020 1:45pm PDT
DACA is one of the most important advances in immigrant rights for decades. It has provided social and economic mobility for nearly 700,000 active recipients—which benefits their families and our broader communities as a whole.
This is a major win for DACA recipients, their families, and our communities—and it is a hard earned victory by the movement led by bold, young immigrant organizers and allies who fought to keep DACA in place over the last 8 years.
And while celebration is warranted, the struggle cannot stop now. DACA remains a temporary fix to a long-standing issue and Congress should take up bills like the Dream and Promise Act to ensure these young Americans immigrants can stay in the only homes they’ve ever known. The House has already passed the bill, and it is incumbent on the Senate to take action.
I have hope.
For one thing, this profound “movement moment” demonstrates the power of sustained organizing by the Movement for Black Lives and the Immigrant Rights Movement representing Black and POC communities directly impacted by violence and inhumane treatment. It is time to double down on a narrative infrastructure of solidarity in a time of deep division.
Indeed, the DACA ruling comes at a time where communities are rising up in a groundswell of racial justice organizing against white supremacy and systemic racism in policing. And more still needs to be done to defund ICE and police forces around the country—all of whom disproportionately inflict violence on Black and Black immigrant communities, indigenous communities, immigrants, and other people of color.
For another, I know immigrant youth organizers are not giving up now. Across the country and with thousands of allies, they will continue the fight for a permanent solution that allows DACA recipients to stay here—in the only home they’ve ever known and where they are a vital part of our communities.
And we can’t stop there. There are nearly ten million undocumented immigrants who have not benefitted from DACA, with the vast majority of that population having spent more than a decade in the U.S. and so with deep roots in American soil. We need a long-term program that will provide legalization, a path to citizenship, and stability for so many American families.
So today, we breathe a sigh of relief. And tomorrow, we take a deep breath before jumping once again into the struggle for racial justice in solidarity with each other—to ensure that all immigrants and communities of color are treated with the dignity, respect, and support that they deserve.