Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ (DACA) agenda is to protect immigrant youth, who are about eight hundred thousand in the US, from deportation. It strives to give these youth the freedom to work and to live life. These young people are our neighbor, friends, co-workers and classmates. DACA provide these undocumented youths, provided they meet certain requirements, with a social security number, immunity from deportation and the opportunity to work in the country. The work permit is renewable every two years and in a majority of the states, these young people are allowed to access state tuition fees and a driving license.
The Republican Party’s extremist members are not happy with what DACA is doing and have attacked the organization on several occasions. As earlier reported, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, wrote to the Trump administration demanding that the program be rejected by the 5th of September this year. He went on to threaten legal action in the event their demands were not met. They proposed a phase off, where there will be no renewals and new applicants will not be considered. This proposal was supported, in writing, by nine attorney generals and one governor, who put their names on the letter. The program’s beneficiaries gathered, just before Fourth of July, at the State capital to protest against the termination of the program.
John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, recently met with the members of the Hispanic Caucus. In his view, this program is in jeopardy and told the attendees that the law suits that have ensued against the program are why they he had to schedule the meeting. They had heard rumor about these suits but the communication from the Secretary of Homeland Security was extremely worrisome.
The program has been running for five years and has brought a lot of benefits to the United States. 95% of DACA beneficiaries study, work and some do both. They contribute significantly to the economy. It is unfortunate that the Congress has been given a deadline of March 5th 2018 to take action, and, of course, pass law. The Trump administration has already ended the issuing of new DACA applicants. Renewals for individuals whose DASA expires before the set date will be processed. But what will happen after the 5th of March 2018? These members and their families are in danger. The power to keep the program alive and to continue issuing DASA to applicants is in the hands of Donald Trump. We cannot give up on the fight.
We all have a part to play, we need to fight back against white supremacy which is taking away opportunities from our young people of color. This is their home too #HereToStay.