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DACA and its discontents

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Reflections on DACA in the news

By: Sophia Rodriguez and Staci Pippin-Kottkamp

University of Maryland, College Park

October 17, 2022

In the past few weeks, we have observed Gov. DeSantis DeSantis potentially (mis)use pandemic recovery funds to fly Venezuelan migrants without telling them to Martha’s Vineyard as part of a larger political charade, which Dr. Sophia Rodriguez commented on in a recent article in the Washington Post. Amid political strife and uncertain pathways, migrants remain welcomed locally in that case; however, the issue of welcoming migrants in the US remains. Additionally, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, as one example of on-going threats to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, partially affirmed the lower court’s decision that determined DACA unlawful; however, President Biden has initiated the final rule in an attempt to protect over 600,000 DACA recipients living and flourishing in the U.S.

Below, current doctoral student, Staci Pippin-Kottkamp reflects on the recent DACA issues. We welcome additional comments and reflections, please email us at: or through the Immigrant Ed Next website.

By Staci Pippin-Kottkamp

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent ruling that DACA violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) shows how anti-immigrant politicians to ignore the assets and contributions of undocumented individuals to our economy and society. To argue that the Obama administration did not follow administrative procedure by not providing public notice and commentary is ludicrous when one considers the environment of Congressional inaction and political divisiveness that has permeated our public discourse for decades. Public notice and commentary would have had little influence at a time when public sentiment on both sides of the issue was well-known. Surely, a historical review of executive actions over the past few decades would yield a lengthy list of APA grievances with faults discovered by each party along ideological lines.

A humane and research-informed view of DACA recipients reveals the important contributions and assets they bring to U.S. society and local communities; people who have lived most of their lives in the United States. They were brought here by their parents, before the age of 16, most of them as young children. Research shows that they often identify as having an American childhood. These 600,00 people have lived most of their remembered lives in American neighborhoods, attended American schools, work American jobs, got married in America, gave birth to children who are American citizens, pay taxes to the American government, and attend American colleges. According to the Immigration Policy Institute, “Over the next 10 years, Dreamers who currently have DACA will contribute an estimated $433 billion to the GDP, $60 billion in fiscal impact, and $12.3 billion in taxes to Social Security and Medicare if they can continue to work legally in the U.S.” Not only is the argument that DACA recipients are a drain on the economy nonsensical but forcing them to “return” to a country most can only imagine, is inhumane and incompatible with the fact that they thrive in the US despite attempts to dehumanize them by policy-makers.

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Suggested Citation: Rodriguez, S. & Pippin-Kottkamp, S. (2022, October 17). DACA and its discontents. Immigrant Ed Next.

Copyright © 2022: Sophia Rodriguez, Immigrant Ed Next-All Rights Reserved

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