Supreme Court’s DACA Decision Looms Large For Children Of Dreamers In The Mountain West

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of the DACA program. Meanwhile, several dozen child-advocacy groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently filed an amicus brief in the case.

The brief argues that cancelling the DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, would seriously harm the health and wellbeing of a quarter million U.S. citizen children born to so-called “Dreamers.”

“We know from current research that even the fear of deportation alone can have really significant impacts on children’s mental health and can lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Wendy Cervantes, director of immigration policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy, one of the groups named in the brief.

In addition, Cervantes says, if parents lose their federal status they could be more fearful of accessing public benefits—things like food stamps and medicaid benefits—on behalf of their children.   

According to the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, there are nearly 16 thousand U.S. citizen children born to DACA recipients in the Mountain West.

Last week, Colorado and 16 other states filed a brief challenging the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA, as Colorado Politics reports.

Oral arguments for the DACA case in the Supreme Court are set to begin on November 12th.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.