Awareness - June 20, 2024 - We Welcome

Awareness - June 20, 2024

World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day, an international day to honor refugees. The United Nations refugee agency reported that there were 37.6 million refugees in 2023. The agency defines a refugee as “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.”

Did you know that you can personally welcome refugees who are waiting in refugee camps or countries where they will never be allowed to settle permanently and build a life into your community? The Welcome Corps is a program that empowers everyday Americans to privately sponsor refugees. Check out our website to learn more!

The state of DACA on its 12th anniversary

June 15th marked the 12th anniversary of former President Obama’s enactment of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA provides protection from deportation for some individuals who came to the U.S. without documentation as children. They must meet certain criteria in order to request deferred action for a 2-year period and also may renew the request at the end of each period. They are also eligible for work authorization. 

In August 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule proposing to “preserve and fortify DACA.” But Texas and several other Republican-led states filed a lawsuit in September 2023, alleging that the Obama administration overstepped its authority, saying that only Congress has immigration authority. A federal court ruled that the final rule was unlawful, but ordered a partial stay that allows DHS to continue providing benefits to existing DACA holders, but not allowing them to process new requests.

On Saturday, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas commemorated the anniversary and stated, “Only Congress … can permanently protect Dreamers and provide them the path to citizenship they deserve. An enduring legislative solution is long overdue. Congress needs to act. Until they do, we will continue to advocate for, defend, and work with Dreamers to ensure they have the support and security they need to thrive. We will continue the work we started 12 years ago today.”