Congress, you’re up.
As expected, President Trump has ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program put in place by Barack Obama through executive action. No surprise there; Trump had promised to end DACA during the campaign, even though he had teased the so-called Dreamers with assurances that they need not worry. His exact words: “I love these kids.”
Under DACA, undocumented immigrants under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, who came to the U.S. before they were 16 years old and have remained here continuously since, can apply to remain for two years without fear of deportation – and can apply to renew that “deferred action” status. They are also eligible to secure work permits.
To qualify, an immigrant has to be in school, have graduated from high school, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States. An applicant also has to pass a background check to show he or she has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors – and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. In short, they have to meet requirements that would exclude a lot of us citizens.