Dreamers uncertainty due to fluctuating legislation

Grace Pedregal, Staff Writer

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American politician, Robert F. Kennedy stated, “Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.”

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was initiated by former president, Barack Obama in 2012. The program authorized immigrants who entered the U.S. at a young age to be eligible for work permits, and apply for deferred action. DACA protected these immigrants from deportation and allowed two-year stays, subject to renewal. These immigrants who qualified for deferred action are most commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” who account for the general requirements of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act.

Approximately 800,000 people have been approved by the federal government for the program. In order to be an applicant, immigrants must have arrived in the United States before 2007 at the age of 15 or younger. In addition, immigrants must have been younger than 31 when DACA was initiated in 2012. A clean criminal record and high school enrollment, diploma or equivalent are all requirements to be met to be applicable.

President Donald Trump was given a deadline of Sept. 5 to end DACA by republican leaders from 10 states. If this action was not completed, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, planned to sue the Trump Administration. The Republican leaders discern that the program is an abuse of executive power and Congress should be the only ones capable of pardoning any group of unauthorized immigrants.

President Trump persistently vowed to put an end to DACA during his campaign. At an immigration policy event on Aug. 21, 2016, Trump stated, “We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution.” Later in January, in his interview with ABC News, he encouraged DACA recipients, “They shouldn’t be worried, he said. “They are here illegally. They shouldn’t be very worried. I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.”

On account of the Trump Administration, recently developed regulations have been made concerning DACA. As of Sept. 5, 2017, no new initial applications are being accepted and processes and fees are approved for those who need a DACA renewal, all while funding lasts. No later than Oct. 5, 2017, will renewal applications be submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Adrian Garcia, a well-informed junior at Mater Dei Catholic High School believes, “DACA posed as a great opportunity for young undocumented immigrants to have a stable future in this country.”

When asked how he feels about the new policy instituted by President Trump regarding the DREAM Act., he replied, “Well, as a young Mexican-American living in this decade, I’ve noticed a lot of attention is placed on immigration, and the discrimination against certain immigrants. These people not having papers simply means they’re undocumented, not that they’re illegal or any less human than someone who is documented.” Garcia feels very strongly about the administration’s settlement, “I completely disagree and am disheartened with their decision. I have always been a firm believer that immigrants of any kind are the backbone of the United States.”

With the program ending, it is currently unknown whether dreamers would be targeted for deportation or turned over to immigration enforcement. It is also a question as to whether the work permits of DACA recipients will be immediately phased out, as the status of the DACA legislation fluctuates almost daily. While renewal requests are currently being accepted, President Trump says that the DACA ruling could still be overturned.

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