SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Irving Hernandez manages a law firm in San Diego and is a so-called “Dreamer,” a recipient of the protections provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA.
“Dreamers” were brought to the United States as children by their unauthorized immigrant parents.
DACA, an immigration policy issued as an executive order by former President Barack Obama, allows recipients to have Social Security numbers and to live and work in the United States, but they have to reapply for acceptance to the program every two years.
“We are the most vetted people in the United States, the most vetted group of immigrants in the United States,” said Hernandez. “Most of us have college-university degrees, we are doctors, we are teachers, yet that is not enough for the basic recognition of our contributions to the United States.”
Hernandez has a degree in aerospace engineering from San Diego State University and hopes to become a lawyer someday.
The DACA program turns 11 this week but has been mired in court challenges in recent years.
In 2021, a judge in Texas ruled the program had not been subjected to public notice and comment periods required under the federal Administrative Procedures Act and therefore is invalid.
Hernandez and others expect the U.S. Supreme Court to ultimately decide the fate of 800,000 “Dreamers” across the country.
For now, Hernandez lives in limbo awaiting a decision.
“The only way we can feel accepted and fully embraced in this country, our home, is by getting that simple acknowledgment that we belong here through a pathway to residency and eventually citizenship.”
Hernandez stated he and other fellow “Dreamers” are disappointed with President Joe Biden for not following through on a campaign promise to give them stability and a path to citizenship.
And he says the Biden administration doesn’t consider the DACA program a big priority.
“There have been instances where the solution is just to codify DACA, but again, that is not the goal we don’t want a half-measure, we see this country as our only home, we want residency and eventually citizenship.”
The Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against DACA next year and make a ruling in the spring of 2025.