DACA, which stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as kids from being deported. It has allowed up to 800,000 individuals to stay in the US to work or study. In 2012, President Obama was able to put the program in place by bypassing Congress with an executive order.
Over the past five years, DACA provided undocumented youth with a social security number and the right to work in the US for a renewable period of two years. As well, in most states, the program allowed eligible individuals to acquire a driver’s license.
However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was against the program and addressed a letter to the Trump administration to cancel the program by September 5, 2017. The letter was further signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as the governor of Idaho.
Trump is giving Congress a six-month period to potentially come up with a replacement program.
A “phasing off” of the DACA program was proposed in which no new applicants are considered. Renewals will only be considered for those with DACA expiring between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. The application for this renewal is due no later than October 5, 2017 to USCIS.
Many of these DACA individuals are an asset to the economy. They invest in their education, buy homes and cars, and many are also business owners, all of which is beneficial to the US.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund are battling to preserve DACA and are fighting for a more permanent solution, the DREAM Act legislation.