The future of 800,000 people lie in total jeopardy.
When the Trump administration announced the end of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, many people across the country erupted with frustration over what they perceived to be the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies. The previous travel ban and new restrictions on the H1 visa program have prompted criticism from many groups around the country. The rescinding of the DACA program has been seen as a continuation of the same policies.
First we must understand what exactly DACA is and is not. DACA is a policy instituted by the Obama administration following the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM act, a bill that would have extended amnesty for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children. DACA permits some undocumented people who entered the country as children to be eligible for a work permit in order to avoid being deported back to the country they came from. Approximately 800,000 individuals are enrolled in the program, many of whom work and receive education in the U.S. Many studies have shown that DACA has been very beneficial to these immigrants and has had no adverse impact on the U.S economy. DACA does not grant amnesty for people who did not enter the country as minors, people with criminal records, or people who have left and reentered the US. However, during the 2016 campaign, Trump attacked DACA and stated that he would repeal it.
Now having done so, it is now it is up to congress to make the decision to save the program in a legislative form, or to fail just as they did before in 2013. With a coalition from immigrants rights groups to even the Koch brothers, it will be interesting to see just how responsive congress will be to pushes for immigration reform. The future of 800,000 people lies in total jeopardy.