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The DACA Program Should be Continued

WHEREAS, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") seeks to confront and eliminate societal and institutional prejudices deterring the advancement of people of color; and

WHEREAS, "The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program was intended as a stopgap measure to protect some of the nation's most vulnerable immigrants — young people who were brought to the country as children and have grown up essentially as Americans — until Congress could agree on a comprehensive immigration overhaul or, at the least, pass a bill to offer them a path to citizenship"; and

WHEREAS, to be eligible to receive DACA status, individuals must have come to the United States under the age of sixteen. They must be in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a general education certificate, or received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces. Furthermore, a recipient of DACA status must not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and

WHEREAS, in October 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit partially affirmed a Southern District of Texas decision in Texas et al. v. United States et al. finding DACA unlawful, and that President Barack Obama exceeded his authority when he created DACA in 2012. The court preserved a previously issued partial stay and remanded the case back to the district court to review the Final Rule published by the Department of Homeland Security; and

WHEREAS, beginning on October 31, 2022, under the Final Rule and pending further litigation, the Department of Homeland Security can continue to grant or deny renewal DACA requests but is prohibited from granting initial DACA requests; and

WHEREAS, in 2022, approximately 1,161,000 people (known as Dreamers) were eligible for protection under DACA. Only approximately 589,660 received DACA status; and

WHEREAS, the future of DACA as a whole is uncertain pending the resolution of the issues remanded back to the Southern District of Texas and further legal proceedings; and

WHEREAS, DACA recipients are involved in their communities and contribute to their states' economic and societal success, and the U.S. States rely on DACA recipients to fill in various labor gaps across many industries. Approximately 20,000 DACA recipients are employed as teachers, and approximately 34,000 are healthcare workers; and

WHEREAS, eliminating DACA could have grave negative effects on the national economy. For example, there would be a loss of $280 billion in the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), $33.1 billion would be lost in Social Security contributions, and $7.7 billion in Medicare contributions would be forfeited; and

WHEREAS, in February 2023, the Dream Act of 2023 was introduced in the United States Senate. If passed, the Act would establish a process for Dreamers who qualify to apply for conditional legal status and eventually become citizens.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will support the passage of the Dream Act of 2023.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate for the reversal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's decision affirming Texas et al. v. United States of America et al.