It may have been expected given the Trump campaign rhetoric against undocumented United States residents. Still, the decision by the president to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program caused high levels of anxiety and consternation by those who are informally referred to as "Dreamers."
This week's announcement ends protection for almost 800,000 undocumented individuals who entered the U.S. illegally as small children with their parents. Unless Congress steps up, within months these young adults with few or no memories of lives anywhere but in the U.S. face being deported back to their countries of origin. As such, already the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ceased processing new Dreamer applications.
Attorney General Sessions stated, "I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded."
Obama-era policy has few friends in present administration
Five years ago, former President Obama enacted DACA to end the legal limbo of this group of undocumented immigrants. Many have completed university degrees, married and begun their own families here in the States. Still others are serving this country in the various branches of the military.
Outside of the Trump Administration, DACA has enjoyed modest support that crosses party lines in Congress. Educators and business community leaders have also championed this effort to accommodate productive young adults whose only crimes were to accompany their parents across the border illegally.
Can Congress save Dreamers' futures in America?
By punting to Congress, the president allows for the possibility of a Hail Mary save while still fulfilling his campaign promises of "America First," a tenet that resonates with his base.
In today's Congressional partisan divide, all bets are off regarding the Dreamers' aspirations to continue to live, work and thrive here in the U.S. But leaving one's future in politicians' hands is insufficient. Now is a time to be proactive and seek legal counsel.
If you are a New Orleans Dreamer, you may decide to pursue other potential avenues that will allow you to remain living in the Crescent City. An immigration attorney can review your case and discuss your options.
Source: CNN, "Trump ends DACA but gives Congress window to save it," Tal Kopan, Sep. 05, 2017