What's Next for DACA Dreamers?
By Steven Gaytan
In recent weeks President Donald Trump made the decision to put an end to the Obama era policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals( DACA ). It was meant to help protect eligible undocumented people who were brought to the US as children from deportation. Eligible people could be given protection from deportation, and be given a work permit in the United States. There are about 690,000 people in the US who were protected under DACA, most recipients coming from Latin American countries.
To be granted protection there was a long and complicated process that included many requirements that applicants needed to comply to. A major requirement for the program was that applicants had to be under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012, or they had to have came to the United States before their 16th birthday. Another important requirement is applicants needed to be living continuously in the US from June 15, 2007 and they had to have been physically present within the country on June 15, 2012. June 15, 2012 was the day that then President Barack Obama signed the policy into effect. The action was apart of the administration’s long time attempted effort to resolve the rapidly growing population of immigrants coming from Latin American countries into the United States.
As of July 1, 2015, there are approximately 56.6 million people of Hispanic origin living in the country or constituting 17.6 percent of the total American population. There are an estimated 12.5 million undocumented immigrants living illegally within the United States as stated in a recent report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform(FAIR) organization. Since DACA was signed into effect, it has become a topic of hot debate among the Democratic and Republican parties.The election of Donald Trump only added to the growing divide in the nation to how DACA will be handled in the coming years. The people who are often caught in between the battle of parties are the ones who’ s fates are being decided by Washington.
These people are known as the Dreamers, a name that spawned out of a piece of legislation that was introduced in 2001 called the Dream Act. Their ages range from about 35 - 16 years of age for the average DACA recipient. Most were brought to the US illegally as children from Latin American countries, the majority being from Mexico. For many of these children growing up in American society the fear of deportation or separation from their families was a real threat. Yet they are seen working jobs, studying for school, and trying to live the American dream. For so many Dreamers the American lifestyle is all they’ve known for most of their lives. They proudly sing along to the Star Spangled Banner with a hand on their heart for the country that has given them so much.
Only time will reveal the fate of Dreamers,whether it is staying within the US or being deported back to their country of origin. While it is true that some people protected under DACA had no respect for the law and or for this country, the fact is the vast majority of those who were protected are proud to live in the United States of America.