On September 5, 2017 President Donald Trump’s administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would end on March 5, 2018 unless Congress decides to pass the Dream Act. What does this mean for the families affected by this decision?
The Dream Act was passed on June 15, 2012 under the Obama administration. The act allowed “individuals who had come to the U.S. before their 16th birthday; were under age 31; had continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007; and were in school, graduated or had obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or were an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States” to receive protection from deportation (Recession of DACA). According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), since the start of the Dream Act, there have been a total of 2,001,377 accepted requests. That means 6.5 percent of the US population will be impacted by President Trump’s decision.
There are many families in limbo, not knowing what future they have. More often than not, the dreamers left at a very young age and therefore have no homes or possessions in their country of origin. All they have is here in the US. If they are made to return, what would happen to them? Would they have a place to sleep? Would they even be able to survive in a country they barely know? They have been put in a position where, by trying to do the right thing, they will now be punished for it.
Although the announcement of the dissolution of DACA has created panic for most dreamers, there are ways in which people can help prevent it from happening. There are many organizations holding campaigns to fight back. United We Stand states ways people can help on their website: there are petitions one can sign, or one can make a phone call. Our local community is also trying to help; Harper College helps students affected by DACA in other ways like establishing Latinos Unidos and giving out scholarships to assist with tuition costs. Organizations like Latinos Unidos try to motivate students to join in the organization and make supportive teams.
Understanding DACA and resources: