Letter to the Community:
On September 13, 2023, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen once again ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal. The decision allows those already enrolled in DACA to both keep and renew their status, but blocks new applications, and casts great uncertainty on the future of hundreds of thousands of young people residing in this country.
DACA was created in 2012 to provide a path toward prosperity to young people, by allowing temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children. Those living with undocumented status face increased challenges obtaining work, housing, education, healthcare and the opportunity to fully participate in public and civic life.
This issue is relevant regionally, because there are 12,770 DACA recipients in Colorado and an estimated 8,000 more who would be eligible if the program was not currently frozen.
Those enrolled or eligible for DACA are valued members of our community - contributors to our social, cultural and economic success - and through no fault of their own, now face uncertainties on their path to citizenship. This is unacceptable and we urge our congressional delegation (Colorado Senator’s Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper, and Representative for Colorado's 7th congressional district Brittany Peterson), to move forward with legislative solutions, including a pathway to citizenship for all DACA recipients and undocumented community members who came here as minors, and now call Lake County and Colorado their home.
Lake County Commissioners
Sarah Mudge, Kayla Marcella and Jeff Fiedler