In November, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the continued lawsuits challenging the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

While arguments for continuing DACA were strong, the Supreme Court will not decide the fate of this program until next June. Until then, DACA recipients wait to find out if they will stay in America or return to their countries of origin.

Benefits of DACA

Far from an easy path to citizenship, DACA truly does just defer the decision about an immigrant’s status. This two-year visa allows people brought to America as minors before June 15, 2007, to attend school and work legally in their American home, but it does not automatically grant citizenship after program expiration.

For DACA recipients, the program gives a chance to study without fear of deportation and apply for citizenship with more valuable skills to add to the American workforce.

For the states where DACA recipients live, this program offers more avenues for creating an educated and diverse workforce. Even the CEO of Apple recently voiced his support of DACA due to the contributions immigrants and children of immigrants have made to the tech giant. One study reported that DACA recipients contributed billions of dollars to the American economy since the program started in 2012.

Next steps for DACA holders

Of course, the biggest concern for many individuals currently protected under DACA is the threat of deportation. However, even if DACA does expire in 2020, deportation protocol remains murky. With over 200,000 people under DACA visas with different expiration dates, expired DACA cases would most likely join the already overwhelmed immigration dockets. Immigrants previously protected by DACA remain in America until a court hearing officially ruled on their ability to stay in the country. If deportation did occur, it certainly would not happen immediately.

3,000 of those cases represent people currently living, working and studying in Kentucky.