There’re just hours left to leave a public comment in support of the DACA program. Do it now

Information about There’re just hours left to leave a public comment in support of the DACA program. Do it now

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For a quick refresher, the Biden administration in late September announced a proposed rule to strengthen DACA, fulfilling a pledge to protect the program as Republican-led litigation against the policy continued. Under the law, the public then has 60 days to submit their comments, which must all be reviewed by the federal government. That period ends today.

We need as many comments in support of DACA as possible—and thanks to a tool from immigration reform advocacy group FWD.us and the Home is Here Coalition, it’s easy. As I noted in September, the comment field is pre-filled, and you can certainly use that as your text. But several community members here also noted that they preferred to leave their own personalized message. If you have the time, that’s definitely welcome! Click here to access the tool and support young undocumented immigrants.

The tool’s text also includes wording urging the Biden administration to address a provision in the proposed rule that could sever work permits from the program. This would absolutely devastate the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who’ve thrived under the policy. Survey data has shown that “work authorization has been critical in helping DACA recipients participate more fully in the U.S. labor force,” with nearly 90% of respondents saying they’re currently employed. Brand new data shows that 343,000 DACA recipients are employed in jobs deemed essential. That includes 34,000 health care workers.

“The comment period is a critical opportunity for Coloradans to show our at-risk immigrant friends and neighbors that we support them and stand with them in this trying time,” former DACA recipient Marissa Molina writes in the Colorado Times Recorder. “I know from firsthand experience how powerful it is to know that you are not alone.”

”While the DACA comment period and the administration’s support of DACA are important, they are only temporary measures,” Molina continues. “It will take an act of Congress to pass a legislative solution that permanently protects Dreamers.”

Daily Kos’ Joan McCarter wrote last week that while Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonaugh reportedly didn’t outright endorse temporary immigration protections (dubbed Plan C by immigrant rights advocates) passed by the House as part of the Build Back Better plan, she didn’t outright reject them either. An official meeting between MacDonaugh and Senate Democrats is expected any day now. McCarter wrote that following House passage, more than 90 House members led by Democratic Reps. Jesús García, Lou Correa, Adriano Espaillat, Grace Meng, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are urging Senate Democrats to overrule MacDonaugh’s nonbinding opinion and enact a pathway to citizenship.

“With an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of Americans supporting the passage of a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, Congress must include immigration reforms in the final budget reconciliation package, also known as the Build Back Better Act which recently passed the House of Representatives and now awaits a vote in the Senate,” Molina said.

While we continue to fight for further relief for undocumented communities, it’s also vital to protect DACA and its hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries. Despite DACA surviving the previous administration, Republicans have successfully halted new applications under their lawsuit (renewals have continued for now). Let’s do our part to beat back that Republican-led effort—leave a comment in support of the Biden administration’s proposed DACA rule today.

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