SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that more than 64,000 Dreamers successfully renewed their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections this quarter as a result of a preliminary injunction secured by California in 2018. Pending litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, the renewals provide DACA recipients with temporary protection against immigration action for removal and allow them to work in the United States for another two years. The data on DACA renewals are published as part of a quarterly report the federal government is required to file pursuant to the preliminary injunction.
“Dreamers are our doctors, our teachers, and our neighbors who play essential roles in our communities,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In California, we have more than 8,000 Dreamers working in healthcare, and many are now on the front lines responding to this pandemic. As we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on DACA, we're inspired by the heart, compassion, and tenacity Dreamers show as they fight for the right to live in and contribute to the only place they've ever called home.”
DACA provides protection to nearly 650,000 people who arrived in this country as children. Dreamers come from almost every country in the world, but many have never known any home other than the United States. More than a quarter of DACA recipients live in California alone. They contribute to our economies, our communities, our schools, and more. There are approximately 27,000 doctors, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, and other healthcare workers who have benefitted from DACA and contribute to protecting the health of our communities across the country. It is estimated that ending DACA would result in an up to $460.3 billion loss to the American economy over the next decade. Those are just some of the reasons why healthcare professionals, police officers, major companies, and people across sectors from all over the country have stood up in court to defend DACA.
Federal immigration authorities are required to report quarterly data on the number of DACA applications that have been renewed or are awaiting a decision. With a renewal, DACA recipients receive temporary relief from removal and can apply for permission to work in the United States for another two years. Since 2018, there have been approximately 712,610 total DACA renewals. Total renewals include individuals who have been able to renew their protections more than once since the 2018 preliminary injunction.
For those who are concerned about their immigration status as they await the Supreme Court’s decision, the California Department of Social Services funds qualified non-profit organizations to provide free legal services to immigrants who reside in the State of California. Those services include assistance for individuals seeking naturalization, other immigration remedies, and removal defense. A list of providers across the state who handle DACA-related services is available here. Additional information on immigration services is available on the California Department of Social Services website here: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/immigration.
Attorney General Becerra has been a stalwart defender of DACA and he is committed to fighting for the rights of immigrants in California and across the country. In November of 2019, Attorney General Becerra led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in defending DACA before the U.S. Supreme Court. Late last year, he led a multistate effort to protect the rights of individuals seeking asylum in the United States. Attorney General Becerra also led a multistate lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s attempt to circumvent the Flores Settlement Agreement, which provides critical protections for children in immigration custody. More information on Attorney General Becerra’s efforts to protect Dreamers is available here.
The most recent renewal statistics are available here.