This has been a historic week for the nation and our community. The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions which were issued on 15 and 18 June 2020. The first decision affirmed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in employment of on the basis of sex—protecting LGBTQ+ citizens. This momentous decision was so big that it crashed the court’s computer. This decision extends workplace protections to millions of our fellow citizens across the nation.
The second decision blocked administration attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Regarding DACA, the court affirmed that these law-abiding young people, brought to this county by no fault of their own, can now sigh a breath of relief without the fear of deportation. The 5-4 court ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts restores the 2012 Obama Administration DACA policy in full.
With the second-highest number of DACA recipients anywhere in the country – and in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis – Texas would have been disproportionately affected if the Supreme Court had allowed the administration to terminate DACA. More than 107,000 of our friends, neighbors and loved ones living in the state of Texas are DACA recipients.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, approximately 30,000 of these Texan DACA recipients are essential frontline workers in healthcare, education, and food-related jobs. In addition, more than 4,300 DACA recipients in Texas are working directly in vital healthcare occupations. DACA recipients are business owners who create jobs for Texans of all backgrounds, own homes, and pay more than $244 million in state and local taxes every year. In addition, several hundred DACA recipients have served our nation as members of the military, with many having served multiple combat tours.
Despite the victory, there is much work to be done as Congress will have to act to pass legislation which will provide a pathway to citizenship to these deserving men and women. How can we help? By using the Power of Our Voice.