WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 200,000 youths in California are being impacted by Donald Trump’s Sept. 5 decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
Former President Barack Obama signed DACA into law during its presidency, in 2012, to protect undocumented youths who entered the United States as minors, allowing them to go to school, work and even own property without being deported. The youths, known as Dreamers, received a renewable two-year deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
Trump urged Congress to replace DACA within six months, when the current administration plans to phase out the program. About 800,000 Dreamers who came into the United States without documents, when they were minors, will be eligible for deportation.
DACA, will adjudicate request for DACA accepted by Sept. 5; it will no longer accept advance parole requests associated with DACA; and that will only adjudicate DACA renewal requests received by Oct. 5 from beneficiaries whose benefits expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued that Dreamers were taking the jobs of native-born Americans, denying “jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
The Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will no longer accept initial requests for
Protests broke out throughout the nation, including a rally Sept. 6 at Harvey Milk Park.
“We want people to understand the very, very real issues this [immigrant] community faces,” said Alicia Morales, program manager with the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition.
In a statement, Rep. Nannette Barragán stated her displeasure with the rescindment of DACA.
“[Sept. 5’s] announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions ending the DACA program was disgusting and heartbreaking,” Barragán said. “It continues to show the lack of compassion and cruelty the administration has for our immigrant communities.”
Rep. Ted Lieu concurred.
“I am outraged by the president’s foolish decision to end DACA,” Lieu said. “This decision will cost our economy $460 billion over the next decade. More importantly, it ignores our nation’s rich immigrant heritage. Our nation can never be great without embracing immigrants. Ending DACA is an unconscionable assault on thousands of young Americans who know no other home than the United States.”