Hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are currently on edge about the prospect of being deported now that the Trump Administration has decided to end the Obama program that allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in America as children to obtain work permits.
With news leaking Monday about the President’s intentions to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, many undocumented immigrants are awaiting their fate, which is expected to be announced at a briefing today by Attorney General Jeff Session.
More than 800,000 immigrants have benefited from DACA since it was launched 2012 via Executive Action from President Barack Obama. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants can receive work permits and protection against deportation for two years, with the possibility of renewal. Qualified applicants must have entered the U.S. before age 16, and have lived in the country since 2007.
Trump has reportedly wrestled with the decision of whether or not to end the program. On one hand, he is seeking to appeal to his base, which has supported the President’s anti-immigration agenda. On the other, he was feeling pressure from Congress, including many Republicans to continue the program, which they say has significant economic implications.
No one knows for sure what the President truly feels about DACA. In interviews given before he announced his candidacy for President, Trump expressed his support for the program. However, on the campaign trail, the DACA program was one of his favorite targets.
After all, the DACA announcement was brought on by the threat of a lawsuit by 10 attorney generals in conservative states, and not because the President sought to clarify his position on the program.
Political analysts expect the Trump administration to announce a six-month delay in the end of the program to allow Congress to time to develop a legislative solution to the immigration issue.
For Dreamers, the six-month period is a crucial time, as the possibility of deportation from the only country many have ever known just became all the more real.