Get the facts straight: DACA

Trump threatens to shut down immigration program

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

Last week, President Trump made a series of announcements threatening the immigration program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Although the news of Hurricane Irma has allowed DACA news to fly more under the radar as of lately, here is what you need to know about DACA, and what it’s future may hold.

What is DACA?

On June 15, 2012 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced a program, supported by then President Obama, called DACA. This program would allow undocumented immigrants that were brought to this country as children who met a series of age, educational and legal requirements to continue to live in the U.S. for two years without fear of being deported. It also authorized them to be able to work jobs in the US. Around 800,000 people are currently being protected by the program and are now in fear of possibly being deported.

What’s the issue?

On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that the administration was planning to end the program and Congress needed to find a replacement in the next six months. However, later that day after backlash to the announcement, President Trump tweeted that Congress now has six months to legalize DACA and not replace it. He has also assured that people under the protection of the program (DREAMers), have nothing to worry about and no action will be taken against them in the next six months. According to Sessions, no new applications are being accepted after September 5 and anyone whose permit was set to expire before March 5, 2018 can apply for a two year renewal before October 5.

What were the reactions?

Although there was some praise, a majority of people were enraged and condemned Trump and his administration for their actions. Democrats and Republicans alike spoke out against the news with Republican Senator John McCain saying “I believe that rescinding DACA at this time is an unacceptable reversal of the promises and opportunities that have been conferred to these individuals”. State governments have also responded with 19 states filing lawsuits challenging the President’s decision. California, where more than a quarter of DREAMers live, is one of the most recent states to join the lawsuit citing the fact that if DACA ends, their economy and law enforcement would be negatively affected.