Since its creation in 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has made quite a stir. Its impact is far reaching and variously affects immigration policy throughout the U.S.
It’s possible to simplify the importance of Deferred Action to its impact on individuals and on society as a whole, though this assessment is by no means exhaustive or complete.
Individual Importance of Deferred Action
Deferred Action is important to many individuals throughout the United States because it grants a certain amount of relief to people who already live in the United States without immigration status.
To explain somewhat further, there are many young people who came into the U.S. with their parents when they were children under less than proper immigration channels. Their lack of immigration status makes it hard to get jobs, attend school and otherwise be a full member of the society in which they were raised.
Deferred Action gives these folks some opportunity to build lives for themselves in their home country. However, Deferred Action is not much more than a stop-gap measure.
Societal Importance of Deferred Action
Deferred Action’s wider impact on the issue of undocumented immigration is that it starts a conversation and interests law makers in creating more meaningful, long-term solutions to the problem.
There hasn’t been much in the way of reform legislation in the years since Deferred Action, but it is expected to become a political eventuality in the next couple of years.
The last good attempt at serious reform was the DREAM Act, which targeted young undocumented immigrants. In fact, the target group of the DREAM Act and Deferred Action are mostly the same even though they are distinctly different things.
The primary difference between Deferred Action and the DREAM Act is that the DREAM Act had a pathway to permanent residency and eventually citizenship, whereas there is no such pathway with deferred action.