The Dragon's Tale

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In June of 2012, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security under former President Barack Obama, announced that children who were brought to the United States illegally before their 16th birthday and met certain guidelines could request consideration for Deferred Action from deportation for a period of two years (subject to renewal). The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has since been rescinded by the Trump administration.

 

In September of 2017, Jeff Sessions, United States Attorney General, gave a speech explaining the administration’s reason for repealing the program. He claimed, “Failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence and even terrorism.”

 

According to FactCheck.org, “There is no evidence that DACA holders are more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens.” The organization also noted that “numerous studies have found that immigrants do not commit crimes at a higher rate than non-immigrants.”

 

President Trump promised to repeal the program on the campaign trail, stating, “We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.”

 

While DACA does not grant legal immigration status, experts have questioned its constitutionality. Yet even before its repeal, the bill was not ruled unconstitutional by any court.

 

“It’s a straightforward fact that no court has declared DACA unconstitutional and that the one appellate court that considered a related program declined to address the issue,” said Amy Spitalnick, Press Secretary at Office of the New York State Attorney General.

 

Former President Barack Obama also weighed in on the rescinding of his executive order.

 

“Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people — and who we want to be.”

 

According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, there are approximately 6,000 people in Kentucky who are eligible or were enrolled in DACA, with nearly 5,000 of those people living in the city of Louisville.

 

What Happens To Former DACA Recipients?

 

According to the Trump Administration, all existing DACA permits will be upheld until their expiration date.

 

When their permits expire, they will become undocumented once again, making them vulnerable to losing their work permits, insurance, and, in some states, their driver’s licenses.

 

One DACA recipient, Renata Aldaz, is studying psychology at George Mason University.

 

“[When DACA ends] I personally will not be able to attend college,” says Aldaz.

 

It is estimated by the Center for American Progress that the job losses alone will cost the U.S. economy billions in taxes and retraining.

 

With the repeal of DACA, the backlash from Democrats and some Republicans continues.

 

According to the New York Times, “Democrats and some Republicans, business executives, college presidents and immigration activists condemned the repeal as a coldhearted and shortsighted effort that was unfair to the young immigrants and could harm the economy.”

 

The repercussions of the repeal will echo through generations to come. Innocent children who are brought to the United States illegally will no longer be granted temporary immunity for the sole purpose of getting an education, making them susceptible to deportation.  

 

According to QCILaw.com, former DACA recipients do have some alternative options to deportation:

 

  1. Apply for Permanent Resident Status
  2. Apply for an Immigrant Visa
  3. Register for Temporary Protected Status
  4. Apply for U Visa of
    Status*
  5. Apply for other Non-Immigrant Visas

 

*According to www.irlc.org, “The U Visa is a temporary form of immigration status that allows a person to lawfully live and work in the United States.”

 

**Although these alternative options are available to former DACA recipients, not all recipients will be eligible.

 

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