LOS ANGELES – Today, we mark a decade since the Obama administration announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative that allows young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children without documents to remain here and obtain renewable work visas.

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) has supported the initiative, including intervening on behalf of 22 DACA recipients who are defending it against a Texas-led, multistate challenge.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz issued the following statement commemorating the 10-year anniversary of DACA:

“As we continue to emerge from an unprecedented pandemic, there can be no doubt that the DACA initiative contributed to the survival of our nation.  The sacrifices made by DACA recipients on the front lines of serving the community provided incalculable support to a nation facing political upheaval and politicized denial as it confronted a mortal threat to so many.  It is for this reason that this tenth anniversary of the announcement of DACA carries such prominence.

“At the same time, our nation should lament that its political leadership has failed, for an entire decade, to provide long-term assurance and support to DACA recipients through bipartisan legislation to secure recipients' continued contributions to our nation's development, security, and advancement.  It would be a shame to see another year pass without enactment of a federal law acknowledging and protecting the contributions of DACA recipients and millions of other immigrants who daily support our nation through hard work and commitment.  Delays in legislation are an ongoing threat to national security, economic prosperity, and community moral principle.”

Read more about MALDEF’s work defending DACA HERE.