Article by Kirtana Devaraj
Recently it has come to light that President Donald Trump has decided to rescind the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program which was established during the office of former President Obama. The aim of the program was to protect the people who entered the United States illegally during their childhood. The program protects over 800,000 children, who immigrated illegally before the age of 16 and have been brought up in America – and is the only home they have ever known.
Trump has decided to give Congress a 6 month buffer to act upon the issue. He said in a statement, “There can be no path to principled immigration reform if the executive branch is able to rewrite or nullify federal laws at will. It is now time for Congress to act!” A close ally of President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has also expressed his views on the issue. He said, “To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone that wants to come here. As Attorney General, it is my duty to ensure that the laws of the United States are enforced and that the constitutional order is upheld.”
At the other end of the spectra, the Democrats have reacted to the situation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, “Most Americans know how heartless the DACA decision is; ripping apart families and telling people who have worked hard to become Americans for years that they have to leave the country. The human and economic toll of rescinding DACA will be far reaching and Democrats will do everything we can to prevent President Trump’s terribly wrong order from becoming reality.”
In an interesting turn of events, the University of California has decided to sue the Trump administration for rescinding protections for immigrant students without legal status. UC President Janet Napolitano has stated, “It is imperative that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. They represent the best of who we are — hard working, resilient and motivated high achievers. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”
The impact of President Trump’s decision has been massive. It has affected not only study and job opportunities for the immigrants, but it has also displaced many people from the only home they have ever known.
Photo credit: Craig Ruttle