This week marks nine years since the establishment of DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation these days 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
We also mark a year since the Supreme Court decision that rejected the previous administration’s attempts to nullify the program.
Thanks to DACA, these young people studied and graduated. They became professionals, they got well-paid jobs. They started new businesses. They helped their families and their communities and improved the economy of the country.
More than 200,000 DACA recipients are essential workers, who risked their lives to protect us during the pandemic.
This is a good time to resume the effort for immigration reform, that is, to adapt our policy to the requirements of our society and our economy.
Especially since DACA is still temporary and needs to be made permanent.
Decades have passed since Congress passed a major immigration law. Much has changed: border crossings have decreased considerably. The population without legal documentation settled and consolidated.
A new study indicates that providing a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants would increase the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $ 1.7 trillion, create more than 439,000 new jobs and lead to increased wages for all.
There are 10.2 million indocumentados with have been living here an average of 16 years. They are the parents, grandparents or siblings of another 10 million.
During his destructive presidency, Donald Trump revoked many integration programs, separated families at the border, caged thousands of children, and intensified the deportations that had reached his record during the Barack Obama presidency.
It is time to try to correct the damage Trump has done to the nation.
This is how Joe Biden understood it as a presidential candidate. He promised legalization. He now he must fulfill the promise, so that the country evolves towards a more just, humane and viable immigration system.
That is why Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to be in charge of immigration.
As a senator and previously during her political tenure in California, Harris sought and obtained the support of the Latino community. She started her journey with the credit she deserves.
And while during her recent visit to Guatemala, she told the thousands who cross the border defying dangers and tribulations ” Don’t come “, she also promised to develop the legal path and contribute to the development of her countries of origin of immigrants in Central America.
The immigration issue, then, is returning to the headlines and to legislative and executive priorities.
Even the languishing immigration reform bills introduced by Biden to Congress on his first day in office are now being debated by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The process begins and develops again. This time its culmination must be, at long last, the immigration reform.
Founder and co-editor of Latino Los Angeles. Editor Emeritus of La Opinion, former Editor-in-Chief. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a journalist, columnist, blogger, poet, novelist, and short story writer. Was the editorial director of Huffington Post Voces. Editor-in-chief of the weekly Tiempo in Israel. Is the father of three grown children and lives with Celia and with Rosie, Almendra and Yinyit in Los Angeles.