The issue on the table

October 3, 2017


Bryn Young

News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu




On the night of September 13, Donald Trump hosted dinner for a few faces that have been exiled from the White House, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. The issue on the dinner table: DACA.


The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows some illegal immigrants brought here as children a renewable two-year period of deferred action on deportation. This “deferred action” is not legal status but does give permission to work, study and obtain a driver’s license.


Applicants had to be younger than 31 at the time of the program’s start, prove they have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007, arrived under the age of 16 and be in school, the military or graduated. Recipients must also have a clean criminal record.


There are nearly 800,000 DACA recipients according to numbers from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They are often called “Dreamers” based on unpassed 2001 proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act that would have provided similar protections for young immigrants.


These people are teachers, students, workers, soldiers and members of communities across the United States. They are exactly the type of immigrants President Trump said he wanted in America during his campaign and the type of people that make this country function.


The big question is: why end a program that worked and risk deporting people who grew up in



In his campaign, he stated he would “immediately terminate” DACA but took several months to get around to doing so after winning the presidency. He stated he wanted to “deal with DACA with heart” but his hand was forced on the issue. Following a letter from 10 state attorney generals to Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatening a legal challenge against DACA, Sessions announced the termination of the DACA program, calling it “an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”


The problem has now been pushed to Congress, hence the previously mentioned dinner. After scoring some political points with his base and gaining some leverage, Trump now has to solve the problem he created to do so. He will most likely tie any protections of “Dreamers” to funding for border security. However, with congressional GOP working to start tax reform, it is questionable if this issue will be handled in a timely manner and before DACA is fully dead.


What happens will be seen. In the meantime, pay close attention to the news and the fates of the “Dreamers.”


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