The Fate of DACA


Margaret Michalak, Staff Writer

The past couple weeks have seen an influx of many top news stories hitting the major social media news outlets. One particular political headline has been in regards to the changes being made to DACA, or the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals. During the presidency of Barack Obama, the DACA program was launched in order to protect young, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States (as children) from deportation. Over 800,000 children have benefited from this program, avoiding deportation. However, President Trump is now reanalyzing this program and is looking to somehow replace it. On October 2, 2017, President Trump met with a handful of key Republicans and announced that he planned to end this program, giving them a bit of insight into what he plans on doing next. Attendees of the dinner included House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Georgia Sen. David Perdue, according to the White House.

One of the issues many people see with the removal of DACA is the hundreds of thousands of children and infants that are now threatened with deportation. Many Americans are also upset with what Trump had to say on the subject of this removal. He stated to the press that the program had “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs” and that there are “millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.” These particular comments sparked an outrage among U.S. citizens and drove many to gather outside of the White House in protest. Hours after the angry protests, President Trump seemed to reconsider certain points of his. He then warned lawmakers that if they do not legislate a program similar to Obama’s DACA program, he would “revisit the issue!” The contradictory opinions of the White House have only injected more uncertainty into the fate of thousands of children’s lives and futures. It is clear to the public that President Trump has conflicting feelings on the subject; he’s even said that the recipients of this program were “incredible kids.” After months of internal White House debate, the DACA program was discontinued and was said to have been done with because this was a ‘legal necessity.’

Still, after many months of back and forth between White House representatives, there is still a serious divide. A ‘working group,’ formed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, is said to quicken progress and decisions, but as of right now, there have been very few ideas from the Trump Administration on what DACA will be replaced with, how it will be replaced, and what will happen to all those affected by the decision.

The effect that President Trump’s decision will have on people is life-changing. Renata Aldaz is a psychology student at George Mason University and she gathered with many other DACA recipients last week for a meeting with Senator Tim Kaine. “Taking that [DACA] away is taking everything from us…I personally will not be able to attend college,” Aldaz, who came to this country when she was 3, told Kaine. “I will lose my job.”

There have been many marches and protests following the decision to repeal DACA, including one outside of the Trump Towers in New York City. The protest outside of the Towers was one of hundreds across the nation sparked by the controversy surrounding Trump’s decision. The NYPD reported that there were 34 people arrested but no officers or protestors that were injured during the Trump Tower protest. The demonstrations started shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA was to be repealed. The protests in Washington D.C. around the White House and down 15th Street have not had any arrests. Other protests have occurred in Los Angeles, Chicago and other major cities around the U.S.

As of right now, all that is certain is that the DACA program has been repealed, but Trump has yet to put forth a replacement program, and until he does, the lives of many immigrants remain uncertain.