The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, popularly known as DACA is a federal program that provides temporary protection to undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. DACA was launched back in the year 2012 when Barack Obama was the president.
The program aimed at helping those who illegally immigrated to the US to live, study, and work temporarily in the United States. Those who wished to join DACA must pass through vetting.
In the vetting process, they assess one’s criminal history and other acts that might pose as security threats to the state. They must have also completed school or out of military services.
Once an applicant passes the vetting process, their deportation procedures are deferred for two years, and given a chance to renew as well as access to basic utilities such as driving license, working permits, and can join any college in the United States.
Deferred action means that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will classify the individual as a low priority when it comes to immigration enforcement, and will not deport him or her.
Though this may come as a relief to the immigrant, deferred action may be revoked at any time and cannot be seen as immunity or even amnesty.
Those who are protected by DACA program are popularly known as the DREAMERS. By the time Trump administration came into power, there were 787,580 Dreamers approved to benefit from the program. To apply, the immigrants must have been;
- Less than 31 years on 2012, the same year DACA program was started
- Undocumented as mentioned earlier
- Came to the United States before they were 16 years old
As per the program official reports, most Dreamers are from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico. Also, many of them are living in New York City, Florida, Texas and California.
The idea behind the DREAMer program was that most of them had been raised in the US. Plus, they wanted to divert the immigration enforcement attention from what seem to be ‘insignificant’ individuals who had commendable behavior.
Even though the DACA program seems to give hope young immigrants in the United States, the Trump’s administration poses a significant threat. During his campaigns, Trump mentioned that he would render the DACA program illegal, meaning all its beneficiaries will be facing deportation.
Many view Trump’s stand as a divisive and inappropriate by the way he treats the immigrants. Many human and immigrants’ rights organization including Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund, which was formed by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, came forward to condemn Trump’s stand. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia
However, Trump mentioned that the Dreamers would not be considered as low priority by immigration enforcement if they are involved in any criminal activity that poses security threat to the state. For instance, being a member of a gang, or has been involved in criminal activity.
For what looked like a sigh of relief, though for some time, the Trump’s rescinding of DACA program was postponed for six months to give the Congress time to pass similar legislation.
About Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
The fund was founded by Michael Lacey along with Jim Larkin. They are also the co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media. The tow journalists channeled about $3.75 million settlement resulting from their arrest to this fund.
Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund seek to support groups that fight for immigrants, civil, as well as human rights. They also help freedom of speech and public participation throughout Arizona.