CO university prepares students for 'possible demise of DACA'

Immigration attorney and associate professor of Chicano/a Studies Arturo Jimenez offers expertise for how Dreamers at the school can explore alternatives to DACA.

Author of 'DREAMers Nightmare: The U.S. War on Immigrant LatinX Children,' Jimenez focuses on 'cross-border Latinx issues.'

In anticipation of the “possible demise of DACA,” an immigration lawyer from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) has offered “insights for DACA recipients on what they can do to prepare.”

On June 13, the university published a piece featuring the expertise of associate Chicano/a Studies professor and immigration lawyer Arturo Jimenez, who specializes in “cross-border Latinx issues.” In 2019, he published a book titled, DREAMers Nightmare: The U.S. War on Immigrant LatinX Children.

[RELATED: ‘Dreamers’ sue Trump over DACA, allege ‘bias against Mexicans’]

“It is very likely that DACA will end since the courts have already determined that President Barack Obama did not implement DACA in the proper fashion,” he stated. “If it’s taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, we don’t expect them to renew DACA — I hope I’m wrong.”

Implemented through an Obama executive action in 2012, DACA has served as a way for illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the nation and to even stay through adulthood for work and school. Protected from deportation, beneficiaries of the program are called “Dreamers.”

Jimenez warned that the controversial program could be eliminated through the courts “within the next two years,” even “as soon as this year.”

On June 1, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas heard arguments about the legality of DACA, which were debated by attorneys representing nine states that sued in hope of ending the program. 

In 2021, Hanen ruled that the program was unconstitutional. Last year, however, he ruled that the revised DACA program can temporarily continue with new regulations and limitations that he set in place.

[RELATED: Law students storm out of ‘purely legalistic’ DACA discussion]

Jimenez recommended other possibilities for Dreamers who may lose their DACA benefits, including “Family petition, where a U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsors a relative who’s a DACA recipient.”

Jimenez advised: “And if people don’t have family immigration, they should consider the U Visa program. Studies have shown 75% of all immigrant households have at least one person in the home who has, unfortunately, been a victim of a qualifying crime.”

He continued: “The most common way is that someone has been a victim of domestic violence. The victim and their derivatives, their children and maybe even their parents or their spouse, could be eligible as well. If someone’s been a victim of tampering with the judicial system, they could be eligible for U Visa.”

Jimenez concluded that Dreamers need to explore more federal program options, and ultimately “apply for all the things [they’re] eligible for and don’t wait.”

As of March 2020, there were over 600,000 DACA recipients living in the U.S.

Campus Reform has contacted all relevant parties for comment and will update this story accordingly.