League of California Cities logoA federal ruling in mid-September prompted the League of California Cities to submit a letter to Congress reaffirming support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Authored by Cal Cities President Dan Parra, the letter notes that a piecemeal approach does not work and creates fear for thousands of Californians.

A federal court in Southern Texas issued the decision declaring the federal regulation that created DACA unlawful. The court barred the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from approving new applications.

However, the judge maintained a partial stay of the order for current DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers.” People who received DACA status before July 16, 2021 — the date of the original injunction — can still renew their DACA applications.

The decision is the latest in a multiyear saga that has created significant uncertainty about the future of this successful program.

Over the last decade, DACA enabled over 900,000 immigrants to stay in the U.S., attend school, and contribute to the economy. According to KFF, a nonpartisan thinktank, over one in four “active DACA recipients” live in California.

“The inability of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform policies has left states and localities on their own to respond to immigration-related issues that have many human, economic, and societal impacts,” wrote Cal Cities President Dan Parra.

In 2018, the Cal Cities Latino Caucus brought a resolution to the Cal Cities Board of Directors in support of DACA. Championed by Parra — then the president of the Latino Caucus — the resolution expressed support for laws that allow existing Dreamers with no serious criminal convictions, including teens and young adults, to remain in the country without fear of removal.

The Board adopted the resolution. Since then, Cal Cities and the National League of Cities have advocated for comprehensive legislative solutions. The latest letter urges Congress to pass meaningful and thoughtful laws that address the realities facing families, students, and workers in California and throughout the country.

Cal Cities will continue to work with federal partners to end uncertainty for DACA recipients.