A “Dreamer’s” nightmare


Sarah Sander

An immigrant’s perspective of the United States, a land of prosperity and possibility

For most “Dreamers,” children who have illegally immigrated to the United States and been offered amnesty through Former President Barrack Obama’s immigration programs, the next few weeks will be full of dread and dismay. President Trump, who ran on a ballot of hard immigration reform, is quickly approaching a fixed deadline set by Attorney General Ken Paxton and 9 other State Attorneys: September 5th, the date Trump is destined to make a final decision on DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act. DACA protects “alien children” from deportation in order to grant them a better standard of living. Juvenile aliens (undocumented children) can apply for the program, allowing them to stay as residents of the United States as long as they find a job and residency, but a DACA “deferred action” status offers no avenue for citizenship.

 This is why most Dreamers are worried about President Trump’s upcoming decision: if Trump decides to repeal DACA, all children under deferred action will be deported, with no avenue of re-entry into the United States. Ten State Attorney Generals threaten to add DACA to their list of federal complaints – forcing the Government to either defend the program or abandon it altogether – if the issue is not resolved soon. On the matter, Trump told reporters, “It’s a decision that I make and it’s a decision that’s very, very hard to make… I understand the situation very well. What I’d like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet.” While Trump promised to immediately rescind DACA on the campaign trail, he faces indecision, pressured by the cluster of Attorney Generals on one side of the issue and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on the other.

DACA works in three individual parts: the first clause of DACA deprioritizes the removal of illegal, non-criminal undocumented immigrants; the second clause formalizes the decision to let them stay in the country; the third clause allows undocumented DACA Dreamers to apply for employment. While Trump could hypothetically overturn the first clause of DACA on day one, resulting in the deportation of over 780,000 undocumented immigrants, it is more likely that, if he makes a decision to repeal DACA, he will slowly filter out its different clauses, removing small pockets of Dreamers at a time. Dreamers are aptly named after 2001’s DREAM act that allowed for residency to illegal immigrants that joined the armed forces. While the DREAM act was shut down on the Senate floor, lawmakers created DACA as a way for those  that immigrated illegally to the United States as children would not have to be deported from the United States – the country they practically grew up in – as adults. Capitol Hill Republicans such as Senator Thom Tillis are in the process of creating an improvised DREAM act that may offer a reprieve to thousands of illegal immigrants that came to the United States as children. 

Trump hopes for a speedy resolution to the issue of DACA reform, stating that “We love the Dreamers,” and that he will make his decision “maybe over the weekend.” If he does not end DACA soon, the states will push to end DACA once and for all by bringing the Trump administration’s handling of the issue to court. House speaker Paul Ryan offers support to the President and the tough position Trump is stuck in stating, “I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”


Story will continue to be updated as new information is released…

09/04/17 : President Trump announces “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” via his twitter, seeming to indicate that he will leave the issue of DACA up to Congress. His rhetoric in the past few days seem to suggest that Trump will end the DACA program in six months, giving Congress enough time to salvage the program if it so chooses. White House analysts predict that an official decision about the DACA proceedings will be announced at a press conference later today. 

09/05/17: As predicted, Trump will officially end close DACA in six months, removing those on “deferred action status” from the United States at that time. However, Congress has enough time to push out immigration reform that has the potential of protecting these illegal aliens from deportation. Former President Barack Obama strongly disagrees with Trump’s handling of the controversial issue writing, “To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong,” on his facebook only hours after the decision was announced.