Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration policy that was created through an executive directive by President Barrack Obama in June 2012. As the name suggests, it provides a deferred action on deportation for young people who meet specific prerequisites. DACA is a form of administrative respite from deportation. It protects young eligible immigrants who entered the United States when they were young from deportation.
It offers young undocumented immigrants a work permit and protection from deportation. If a person meets the requirements, he or she is expected to file an application and evidence needed and then pay the application fees. The deferment usually lasts for two years after which an individual can reapply.
As reported earlier, Ken Paxton, the Attorney General in Texas had released a letter to the Trump administration demanding the withdrawal of the DACA program by 5th September, threatening legal action if their demands were not met. They were suggesting a “phase off,” instead of a speedy termination where there would be no renewals, and new applicants would not be considered.
Despite the full and apparent support for DACA, President Trump went ahead to commission Attorney General Jeff Sessions to declare the termination of the program that protected young undocumented immigrants from deportation and gave them an opportunity to participate in building the economic life of the US.
Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, a foundation committed to funding migrant right groups throughout Arizona condemned the termination of the program. The association termed the phasing off of the program without a suitable DREAM Act in position, as one of the cruelest and heartless decisions of the Trump administration. The leaders of faith communities, famous people, politicians and citizens from all walks of life raised their voices to defend the program. However, it was not sufficient to stop the efforts to eliminate DACA.
Just recently, John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security held a meeting with some members of the Hispanic Caucus, where he stated that the program that shielded over 800,000 individuals was in peril. He noted that the legal cases challenging the program were the main reason for his communication. Advocates have already begun to sound the alarm; however, Kelly’s statement is quite worrying.
It’s already the fifth year of the DACA program implementation, and it has brought obvious benefits to the country. Approximately 95% of DACA beneficiaries either study or work or do both. They usually influence the millions of dollars to universities and colleges nationwide. They have developed their incomes and also pay higher taxes. Most of the economic benefits made by DACA beneficiaries are invested in furthering their education, purchasing cars and homes, as well as creating businesses.
There exist a substantial number of studies that verify the success of DACA. Many immigrant groups are pushing back the agenda to eliminate DACA program, and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is on the forefront offering guidance, information and help in the fight to uphold it and fight for a long-lasting solution.