Trump Keeps DACA but Program Still Vulnerable

While the Trump administration has decided to eliminate the Deferred Action for Parents of America and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), it is currently leaving in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by the Obama administration in 2012.1 Immigration advocates, however, warned that DACA recipients, or Dreamers, remain vulnerable.2 DACA currently applies to 750,000 applicants.3

Adam Luna, a spokesperson for United We Dream, the country’s largest immigrant youth advocacy organization, said, “It is not the case that Trump has saved DACA. It is the case that immigrant youth have mounted a very steady campaign to promote DACA, and to build up the public case for it, which has always been strong. But that DACA has been saved, or that Trump has saved DACA, are extremely misleading, because the program remains very vulnerable, and agents have been unleashed by Trump’s executive orders.”4

Dreamers have already been deported under Trump, despite the program’s supposed protections.5 Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who had lived in the U.S. since the age of nine, was detained in California in February and deported to Mexico without getting a chance to retrieve his active DACA permit.6

The document released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security does not fully flesh out the administration’s view on DACA, says Viridiana Carrizales, who heads a program of support for Teach for America’s 200 alumni and current teachers with DACA status.7

Twenty-five year old Argentine immigrant Tomas Pendola, a high school chemistry teacher in Miami, Florida who benefits from DACA says, “One thing I’ve learned from being undocumented is that things can always change. I never know what’s going to happen.”8


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