one of the main activities of the trump administration has been the dismantling of any points of pride from the obama presidency: he has attacked obama-era regulatory acts, “canceled” the deal with cuba, and, of course, put his full weight behind a repeal of obamacare. next on the docket? deferred action for childhood arrivals, aka daca.
founded in june 2012, daca is a guideline stipulating that immigration enforcement resources will not be expended on a group of low-priority or low-risk undocumented children who entered the united states as minors. as the name suggests, it allows eligible children (or then-children, as it protects immigrants up to age 31) to defer deportation and acquire a work permit.
“this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. this is not a path to citizenship. it’s not a permanent fix. this is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people,” obama said in his announcement of the regulation.
repealing daca means that the estimated 800,000 young people it protects will face imminent deportation. aside from the stresses of being undocumented in the first place, many in this group have already lived with additional fear and anxiety throughout the trump campaign—“they’re bringing drugs. they’re bringing crime. they’re rapists,” trump said of mexican immigrants, which form nearly three-quarters of all daca recipients.
politico reports that the president has decided to scrap the program but is planning to delay its enforcement for six months. according to politico's sources, senior white house aides gathered sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of the contentious decision. when it comes to daca, president trump has already gone back and forth several times in the last few months alone. “[we are] not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals. . . that is our policy,” he told the associated press in april. though white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said in a statement, “a decision is not finalized. we will make an announcement on tuesday,” sources say that the white house has already informed house speaker paul ryan of the decision on sunday morning, even though ryan has said that he didn't think the president should terminate daca, but that congress should decide on the issue instead.
this decision comes a bit more than a week of his pardon of racist arizona sheriff joe arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in july because he refused to stop discriminatory policing practices toward latinos. it also comes as the people of texas are still reeling from harvey, “probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” as fema director brock long put it, which put undocumented people in the impossible position of deciding if they should drown or face deportation upon seeking state assistance.
what recourse is there for the american citizens who want to resist this repeal? you can call republican legislators such as speaker of the house paul ryan, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, rep. martha mcsally (r-az), rep. mike coffman (r-co), and rep. will hurd (r-tx). you can join or start protests in your cities, or find an event near you. you can donate to organizations such as the national immigration law center, which defends those who cannot afford to fight for their rights.
daca recipients themselves can check out the guidelines suggested by united we dream, the largest organization in the country for immigrant youth, which suggests undocumented minors do not to seek daca until trump clarifies his intentions. whenever that might be.
source: vogue, defenddaca.com, www.uscis.gov