Latest DACA Update

ImmigrationThe current administration has ordered the dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, an Obama administration measure that gave protection to individuals who were illegally brought into the United States as children. In a mixed message, President Trump contended that he had “a love for these people,” but also alleged that their presence in the United States “victimized millions of Americans” and “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

Under DACA, an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2012, nearly a million adults who came into the country illegally as children were allowed to remain in the country without fear of immediate removal, and were given the right to legally work in the United States. In a statement at the Justice Department, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the beneficiaries of the program “lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.”

The announcement sparked immediate protests in cities across the nation, as well as at the White House and the Department of Justice. The move was criticized by business leaders, immigration activists and politicians on both sides of the aisle. Former President Obama labeled the decision cruel and self-defeating, saying the individuals protected by DACA are “here through no fault of their own, …pose no threat…[and] are not taking away anything from the rest of us.

Business leaders say that many of those protected under the law fill important positions and cannot be easily replaced by native-born workers. Immigration activists also point out that deporting these individuals will force many to move to a country where they have little or no contacts, and may not even speak the language.

President Trump said it’s now up to Congress to overhaul the American immigration system to protect those previously safeguarded under DACA.

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