Starting in early September, President Trump ordered an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program established by the Obama Administration.
DACA, is a policy that protects undocumented immigrants under the age of 16. The children are eligible to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and could also be eligible for a work permit. Those eligible for this program are referred to as Dreamers.
President Trump is pushing Congress to pass a replacement in the next six months prior to him phasing out protections the policy holds.
Starting as early as March 2018 many of the 800,000 young adults who have been brought to the United States and qualify for the program will become eligible for deportation. This started a wave of backlash from protesters calling the move a cold hearted and shortsighted effort that was unfair to the young immigrants and could harm the economy.
Yessenia Santamaria, senior, sociology and Spanish major, said, “Although I’m not a recipient of DACA, I have multiple family members and friends who receive it. I have family members and friends who rely on DACA to go to work, provide for their families and if this gets taken away, simple tasks will get extremely difficult like driving to the grocery store.”
Immigration officials have said they do not intend to specifically target young immigrants as priorities for deportation. However, some of the Dreamers could be stopped from returning to the United States if they travel abroad.
Vanesa Hernandez Cevallos, sociology major, said “the crazy thing is too, that they are all in college or working, not criminals or anything else.”
Just hours after the announcement on Sept. 4, Trump took to Twitter tweeting that Congress now has six months to legalize DACA.
To gather more information on the issue and help recipients here on campus, the “Youth Oppressed and United” organization will be having a large event; Defend Freedom on Oct. 3 starting at 6 p.m. in the Laird Room Center.