DAPA decision will affect 5.5 million American children

Immigration Petition I130Around 5.5 million children who have US citizenship but whose parents do not will be affected by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ upcoming ruling on the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (DAPA), a new report claims. The program, which is part of the executive action announced by President Obama late last year, is currently on hold due to a lawsuit filed by 26 states and headed by Texas.

The report by University of Southern California Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity professor Dr Manuel Pastor says that around 5.5 million children born in the US would benefit from the deferred action program, with the number increasing to over six million for children who are residents of the United States but have parents who are eligible for DAPA.

The National Immigration Law Center’s Marielena Hincapie says that not enough attention has been given to the impact of the lawsuit on the lives of the youngsters. The lawsuit has mired the deferred action programs in legal red tape, with too much focus on the political consequences.

Bruce Lesley, the president of First Focus, a bipartisan family advocacy group, says that the irony is that many of the 26 states behind the lawsuit to stop DAPA going ahead would actually be the ones to benefit from it the most. “Up to 70% of children living in those states could be positively impacted by DAPA,” he claims, pointing out that precarious family situations can cause many children harm and deprive them of a more stable life without fear.