DACA’s Phase Out Affects More Than 800,000
LYLLI DUONG & JESSE ROSALES
In 2012, Barack Obama began the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program enabled people that came to the United States before they turned 18 to be able to have their own driver’s licences, a secure job and the ability to enroll in colleges. Participants of the DACA program are referred to as Dreamers.
On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump announced in a written statement that the program will be eliminated. Even though he has already decided to remove the program, he gave Congress a six month window of relief. Trump allows people who already applied for the program the chance to have their applications processed as usual, but the Department of Homeland Security will not accept any new applications after Sept. 12.
“I think it was a huge mistake that is very misguided and used to penalize young people who have been living most of their lives here as positive contributions to our society,” Social Science Teacher Travis Corona said.
Those registered under DACA are protected until the permit expiration date. As for the people with protection that will expire before March 5, they will have up until Oct. 5 to reapply for the last time.
Losing DACA is different for each person. If the recipients are working, they must comply with the law and quit their jobs. The immigrants who are still in school will still be able to attend, but many will have problems paying for their education.
“Many of my friends at Alhambra High School are actually undocumented citizens, and I fear for what will happen to them,” said sophomore Jaylen Luc.
When recipients of DACA program applied for the program, they had to give extensive personal information to the government. Many DACA users fear that with this information, the government can easily find and deport them.
When Obama instituted DACA, most Republicans and some Democrats did not agree on his idea, calling it an overreach of executive power. The reason for the removal of DACA is that Trump believes that DACA is an illegal amnesty.
On Sept. 13, Trump and Democratic leaders had a meeting over dinner at the White House over the DACA program. The next morning, Trump confirmed that he supported the protection of young immigrants.